TITLE: Just Kids
AUTHOR: Patti Smith
Source: Local Library
Goodreads / Author's Website
I have had to wait for ages to get this book out of the library. I've been dying to read Just Kids since it was first published and I was not disappointed. I wasn't sure if I wanted to write a review of this book. It's not fair to the book; it's not fair to art. I did however, want to share my thoughts as to why I think it's a necessary book and why somebody else's story speaks to me so deeply.
Just Kids is more than a memoir; it's a love story and elegy. It romanticizes a period in somebody's life marked by poverty and elevates art to a revered status. It's Patti Smith ruminating on the deep love she had for her lover and most importantly friend who passed away in 1989 from AIDS. The book follows them through the late 60s and into the 70s, traversing the New York City art scene.
Love shines through this book. Love of art. Love of each other. It's a beautiful, lasting love that goes beyond sexuality. It can only be taken at face value, love for love. It never ends. Poverty, fame, death. It will survive. Just Kids is a tribute and it too is a beautiful thing.
Love and art intertwine throughout the pages and become entangled. I don't have anything coherent to say to this really other than it spoke to me. It elevates art and romanticizes it, yes. But it also describes it in a way my words will fail to. It's expressed as something you need to do, you know that maybe it is worth giving everything else up if you can have that perfect moment. It explores the drive this young people have and the passion to make and create. It goes beyond rock and roll, beyond the Factory. It is poetry in itself.
Just Kids is a love story. It is written in mourning. It is poetry in itself and I shed a few tears reading this one. Not many books can make me do that, but there's just some wondrous quality in this book that I just can't express.