M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

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M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:09 pm

Why do you think Patti decided to write M Train? No one writes a book without thinking long and hard about what they hope the book will accomplish. What do you think Patti’s wish for this book was?
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:06 pm

2015 marked 40 years for Horses and she was starting a World Tour. So the book and the tour and album sales and all of that tied together was a good career/business move. Many of us have a book in us and many of us write that book, but actually publishing it is a business decision, and money is big part of that. Publicity for the book and the tour tied together may have made both ventures more profitable.

On an artistic level, anniversary dates hold significance. Perhaps she just felt like reflecting on her life at this point in her life, at the age she has become. Maybe she was feeling nostalgic. Maybe as her children have become adults, she was dealing with that life passage when children move on to become their own people living their own lives. Perhaps she wanted to share a bit of her personal self with her fans. Maybe she just had that bit of ego that makes us post selfies on Facebook. It might be any or all of these things, or none of them.

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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:02 pm

nebraska, your's is a very good answer. I don't know that Liz or I thought about the business side of things, and it makes perfect sense to have a book come out during a 40th anniversary year. It will multiply the sales she receives.

And yes, anniversary dates do hold significance even on the art side. I am sure it created that sort of mood pressure or thought pressure that makes one take apart the past and re-fine what it might have meant, where it eventually led, etc. With regard to your comment on wishing to share a bit of herself with fans, well, she agrees with you totally, doesn't she? Isn't that basically what she was saying, "I cannot assume the reader will be familiar with them all, but in the end is the reader familiar with me? Does the reader wish to be so? I can only hope, as I offer my world on a platter filled with allusions." I personally found it very interesting that she felt the need to extend herself in the direction of her fans. Not everyone that's a name wants that sort of personal sharing -- book sharing is personal sharing. In any case, that little paragraph that she wrote sort of sealed the deal for me: She wanted to share.

I always go round and round about writers and readers. Some writers write for themselves and that is sufficient. And other writers, myself included, write as though they were playing tennis and always looking for the ball to come back at them. The ball being the readers' experience of the book or piece of writing. Even though, even though (for emphasis) there is slim opportunity to actually hear the readers' thoughts. M Train is really a highly personal book, a testament so to speak, of a woman's interests and loves over time. So it follows then that the objective of the book was to share the self. And in a manner that was very honest and unafraid. (Who here, upon becoming world famous, would think to drop the bomb on their addiction to TV crime shows?) One doesn't open oneself so fully unless one desires to share.

Your comment really got me thinking. Thanks!
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:04 am

fireflydances wrote:nebraska, your's is a very good answer. I don't know that Liz or I thought about the business side of things, and it makes perfect sense to have a book come out during a 40th anniversary year. It will multiply the sales she receives.

Went right over my head. :dunce:

fireflydances wrote:So it follows then that the objective of the book was to share the self. And in a manner that was very honest and unafraid. (Who here, upon becoming world famous, would think to drop the bomb on their addiction to TV crime shows?) One doesn't open oneself so fully unless one desires to share.

I was just talking to a friend tonight about how I think as we get older we become more comfortable in our own skin and thus more transparent about who we are and don't care if some people don't like who we are. There will be plenty who like us for who we are.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:24 am

I am a little older than the rest of you, I believe. I will turn 70 next year. And I find the older I become, the more cynical I become. (Maxine is my hero. ;) ) So when you ask why someone would publish a book, my very first reaction was "for the money". All the artistic reasons came second for me. A factor of idealism fading with experience at my age? Interesting ....

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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby Joni » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:54 pm

nebraska wrote:I am a little older than the rest of you, I believe. I will turn 70 next year. And I find the older I become, the more cynical I become. (Maxine is my hero. ;) ) So when you ask why someone would publish a book, my very first reaction was "for the money". All the artistic reasons came second for me. A factor of idealism fading with experience at my age? Interesting ....


I think you might have something there, nebraska. I've often had the same reaction (so-and-so must need money) when seeing commercials featuring long-retired actors or sports figures, even local former newscasters. These are people who kept their private lives private in their heyday, yet now they're on my TV, acting like my best friend, flogging just about anything.
He has a way of huddling down under his hat and his totems. But when the camera was on him he kind of beamed Johnny out. It was striking, like one of those magic powers in those hobbit movies.
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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:31 pm

I always assume people write for money. Not sure if we touched on it when discussing Life but ceratainly the only reason Keith wrote his book was not because he needed the money but because he was offered alot of money to do it, and no doubt he thought he could and it would be a good idea.

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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:29 pm

And none of this talk of money is meant to cheapen what is written, only that payment is an obvious motive for putting in the work. And writing a book for publication is serious work! All the gallery proofs and publicity photos, autograph sessions etc. That part can't be much fun.

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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:41 pm

She may have a contract with her publishers where she has to write so many books, sort of like a recording contract. I'm sure Nebraska is on to something about tying it all together for marketing purposes. And she did mention in the book about various ways she would raise cash when she needed it, like buying the house.

But I'm sure Patti had a more deep, personal reason for writing this particular story about nothing at this particular time.

She's finally written about her life with her husband, she's talked about raising her children, life with her parents, etc., and put all of that in the past. She's also shown us her "present"; her beloved cafe, her fondness for crime shows, her inner sanctum of authors, trinkets, and pictures. Then she leads us into her future with a new cafe and her beloved new beach house...abandoned and damaged at first, yet reborn under Patti's careful supervision.

Time marches on and so does Patti Smith. :namaste:

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Re: M Train Question #16: Why This Book?

Unread postby Liz » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:43 pm

nebraska wrote:I am a little older than the rest of you, I believe. I will turn 70 next year. And I find the older I become, the more cynical I become. (Maxine is my hero. ;) ) So when you ask why someone would publish a book, my very first reaction was "for the money". All the artistic reasons came second for me. A factor of idealism fading with experience at my age? Interesting ....

I think I've become more naive in my old age. Maybe it is because I used to be so cynical most of my life.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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