Just Kids, by Patti Smith - an essential journey


Note : this article is the English translation of this one.

I have just finished reading Just Kids by Patti Smith. It recounts her early life, including her decisive and life-saving meeting with Robert Mapplethorpe. This two birds loved and admired each other, broke up yet never stopped loving each other, and they drew a lot from their relationship for their respective art. Their paths will ultimately be radically different, but their souls will be forever bound.

Patti Smith takes us on a journey of initiation, with the help of dense, rich prose that wanders with pleasure into poetry at times. This journey through time allows us to meet a whole gallery of colourful characters, some of whom are quite famous, such as William Burroughs, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Sam Shepard, Tom Verlaine... 

But one of the central characters is New York, the teeming city of the 60's and 70's, where drugs are particularly devastating, where art is of an unprecedented freedom, and, at the very heart of this incredible life, the Chelsea Hotel.

As a fan of the 70's and more specifically of the music that was produced during this period, Just Kids really touched me. I don't know if I would have wanted to live in that era. I simply thank Patti Smith for taking us on a journey with her undeniable talent as a storyteller.