Devotion

Author(s): Patti Smith

Music/Film

The national bestseller from the renowned artist and author Patti Smith, exploring 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 caf 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.

$28.00(AUD)


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- "Devotion is short enough to devour at one enjoyable sitting and thought-provoking enough to deserve re-reading . . . It's a privilege to spend any time with Patti Smith, however brief."--Suzi Feay, Financial Times"A triptych of compact, heartfelt essays on discovery, solitude and writing."--Darragh McManus, Irish Independent"Smith, a contemplative writer of gratitude and reverence who names her muses in poems, memoirs, and songs, deepens her inquiry into the nature of inspiration in this slender, trenchant volume, the first in Yale's Why I Write series. . . . Gracefully improvisational, as always, Smith offers an unusually poetic, mystical, and transfixing perspective on the mystery of literary creation."--Donna Seaman, Booklist"The lesson is obvious: that a writer draws on every detail of his or her life for the alchemical, often unconscious process of creation. But seeing the process in action is a profound experience. Smith's writing in the essays is as beautifully structured as her poetry."--Publishers Weekly"Smith is telling it her way, but also in the ancient way. It's recognizable to readers for its mythic proportion, accessible to all kinds of people for its brevity and intensity--and yet, it's still distinctly Patti Smith."--Megan Volpert, PopMatters"This is what is so astonishing about [Smith's] career and what motivates Devotion -- the way that, as she has gotten older, Smith's vision has expanded, framing her self-awareness not as self-absorption but rather a deep dive into everything, the exhilaration and the terror and the transcendence that we all share."--David Ulin, Barnes & Noble Review"A creative, graceful and uncommonly beautiful little book about writing from the poet and singer who has, in maturity, become an even richer and more complex artist than she was at her greatest fame. She has become one of the most compelling writers of prose that we have and one of the most arresting about artists and other writers. Follow her here as she deals with Camus, Nabokov, Mishima, Genet, Simone Weil, and Patrick Modiano. Originally delivered as a series of lectures at Yale and artfully illustrated for this edition, this, in book form, is as exquisite as anything published in this season. In her late-life self discovery as a prose master, Patti Smith may have found yet another masterful voice."--Jeff Simon, Buffalo News "Smith, a contemplative writer of gratitude and reverence who names her muses in poems, memoirs, and songs, deepens her inquiry into the nature of inspiration in this slender, trenchant volume, the first in Yale's Why I Write series. . . . Gracefully improvisational, as always, Smith offers an unusually poetic, mystical, and transfixing perspective on the mystery of literary creation."--Donna Seaman, Booklist"The lesson is obvious: that a writer draws on every detail of his or her life for the alchemical, often unconscious process of creation. But seeing the process in action is a profound experience. Smith's writing in the essays is as beautifully structured as her poetry."--Publishers Weekly

Patti Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. Her memoir Just Kids received a National Book Award, and her recent book M Train is a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller. Smith was awarded the prestigious title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic. Her seminal album Horses has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time, and in 2007 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Smith lives in New York City.

General Fields

  • : 9780300218626
  • : Yale University Press
  • : Yale University Press
  • : August 2017
  • : 177mm X 120mm
  • : United States
  • : November 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Patti Smith
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : English
  • : 818.609
  • : bl2017037205
  • : 112
  • : 11 b-w illus.