25 May, 2016

Patti Smith M Train

pic from NYT.

Talk Book: Patti Smith M Train

"...without a doubt we sometimes eclipse our own dreams with reality..."

After reading Just Kids, I lost no time in reserving Patti Smith's newest book, M Train, from the HK Public Library. A month and a half later I got it, and since I knew I cannot renew (others are in the line) I devoured it in just a few days, perhaps not the best way to read this mysterious beast of a creation, but likely just as well as I'd never fully comprehend her dreamscapes and lofty travails.

For her journeys to obscure places, often to honor heroes of the past (concisely summarized by the NY Times review) are awesome; we mere mortals would never entertain such ideas. However, comprehension or not, one has to admire her determined nature.

As words and scenes leap out from every sentence, her colossal spiritual dimension is revealed. In an age when most people spend more time on researching what to do, wear or eat than actually doing things, I can only applaud someone who wouldn't care about fashion, fine dining and most luxuries (surely Patti Smith couldn't care less about hifi, even if she's a musician). In an age when people spend more time rating things, choosing emoticons and giving thumb-ups, in general living the life of others rather than discovering themselves, Patti Smith probes every recess of her psyche, excavates every buried emotion, and crafts a lifetime of words to describe her dreams, premonitions, pain. Indeed pain and loss, her own as well as reflections through others, permeate the book.

Patti Smith knows herself as well as any writer I have read, and the above quote perfectly describes this book.

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