Devotion

Devotion Review

From the renowned artist and author Patti Smith, an inspired exploration of the nature of creative invention

A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic—its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met? In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture’s beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections.
 
Patti Smith first presents an original and beautifully crafted tale of obsession—a young skater who lives for her art, a possessive collector who ruthlessly seeks his prize, a relationship forged of need both craven and exalted. She then takes us on a second journey, exploring the sources of her story. We travel through the South of France to Camus’s house, and visit the garden of the great publisher Gallimard where the ghosts of Mishima, Nabokov, and Genet mingle. Smith tracks down Simone Weil’s grave in a lonely cemetery, hours from London, and winds through the nameless Paris streets of Patrick Modiano’s novels. Whether writing in a café or a train, Smith generously opens her notebooks and lets us glimpse the alchemy of her art and craft in this arresting and original book on writing.

The Why I Write series is based on the Windham-Campbell Lectures, delivered annually to commemorate the awarding of the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University.

Title:Devotion
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Devotion by Patti Smith was the 2016 Windham-Campbell Lecture at Yale University. Smith, a singer, writer, and photographer, wrote M Train and Just Kids and several volumes of poetry. Her album Horses...

  • A worthwhile addition to the Patti Smith library. "Devotion" beautifully describes Patti Smith's attitude toward the creative life, as anyone who has read M Train or Just Kids can attest. This tiny v...

  • Haunting..beautiful.....

  • While at the Harvard Book Store last week, I decided to console myself with the fact I couldn't make yet another trip in two weeks' time back to the city to see Patti Smith live, by purchasing her new...

  • Devotion is delivered to the reader in a bouquet of immortelle with a sword hidden in the middle.I've said it before and will continue to reiterate, Ms Smith's books are to be read slowly, methodicall...

  • It IS a bit slight... But still lovely. It's a three parter - starts non-fiction about travelling to France, which I really enjoyed, then there's a short story about an ice skater which was just ok fo...

  • While I often say that my love of Patti Smith's writing is massive and boundless, I may now have to qualify that to say that my love of Patti Smith's nonfiction is boundless. I could stand on street c...

  • It was so beautiful, delicate, passionate and lovely. It's more of a novella, so it's quite easy to finish in a day. Does she ever write a book that's not perfect? Maybe she'd adopt me? ...

  • I love you Patti. As always, Patti's voice is unmistakable. Her love for black coffee, for visiting the graves of her muses, for simplicity and for obsession (devotion?): it's all here. As Smith says ...

  • Smith's opening essay gives a snapshot of the weeks in her life leading up to the composition of the title story. I found the essay fascinating; beautifully written and transporting. She allowed me to...