Saturday, March 07, 2020

Patti Smith - Devotion

After receiving M Train for Xmas (thanks hon!) I've been on a bit of a Patti Smith kick. I just finished a book that she referenced in M Train (The Wind Up Bird Chronicle) and I picked up this one of hers, as well.

This small (5"x6"-ish, 100 pages) tome includes Patti's fictional story, "Devotion", but also includes a personal narrative of her life's events leading up to and influencing the tale, along with some musings on writing in general and copies of some hand-written notes that she had compiled in preparation for the story.

The narrative of "Devotion" was inspired when she woke from a dream with her television on showing an ice skating competition and a graceful competitor thrilling her senses. Combining other impressions from her own promotional travels, Smith winds a tale of a young woman who only wants to skate and who falls prey - although somewhat voluntarily - to an admirer who promises her all she desires but fails to deliver in various ways, resulting in a tragic ending.

This novella is a bit too short for a book on its own, so it is bookmarked by her own travel musings and, as I said, handwritten notes - essentially the story almost completed with few corrections - and thoughts on "why I write", the subtitle of the book. Another fine'n'interesting work from this talented woman.