Patti Smith possesses that strange form of intelligence in which, rather than the emotional and the intellectual eclipsing each other, they mutually enlighten each other. In this sense it could be argued that what Patti Smith did for punk, Charles Baudelaire did for poetry. However, Smith’s literary model is “Jo,” the headstrong artist of the family in L.M. Alcott’s Little Women, as her literary tastes are closer to adventures and explorers who get their own way than those of the poètes maudits.

Through her own books (such as her memoir Just Kids), Patti Smith has set out some preferences and authentic literary obsessions, with poets such as Arthur Rimbaud, and more recently two writers from South America, César Aira and Roberto Bolaño. Smith described Bolaño’s novel 2666 as the first masterpiece of the 21st century.

Reading lists (like this one from Borges) or what an artist has to say about themselves as a reader (like Virginia Woolf) are a curiosity and a channel of communication between their work and that which inspires their creation.

Here are some more literary recommendations from the great Patti Smith:

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1. The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov

2. Journey to the East, by Hermann Hesse

3. The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse

4. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad

5. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville

6. “Billy Budd” by Herman Melville

7. Songs of Innocence and Experience, by William Blake

8. The Wild Boys, by William Burroughs

9. “Howl”, by Allen Ginsberg

10. “A Season in Hell”, by Arthur Rimbaud

11. Wittgenstein’s Poker, by David Edmonds and John Eidinow

12. Villete, by Charlotte Brönte

13. The Process, by Brion Gysin

14. Cain’s Book, by Alexander Trocchi

15. Coriolanus, by William Shakespeare

16. The Happy Prince, by Oscar Wilde

17. The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles

18. “Against Interpretation”, by Susan Sontag

19. The Oblivion Seekers (translated into English by Paul Bowles), by Isabelle Everhardt

20. The Women of Cairo, by Gérard de Nerval

21. Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry

22. Dead Souls, by Nikolai Gogol

23. The Book of Disquiet, by Fernando Pessoa

24. The Death of Virgil, by Hermann Broch

25. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, by J.D. Salinger

26. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger

27. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

28. A Night of Serious Drinking, by René Daumal

29. In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, by Marcel Proust

30. A Happy Death, by Albert Camus

31. The First Man, by Albert Camus

32. The Waves, by Virginia Woolf

33. Big Sur, by Jack Kerouac

34. Anything by H.P. Lovecraft

35. Anything by W.G. Sebald

36. The Thief’s Journal, by Jean Genet

37. Arcades Project, or anything by Walter Benjamin

38. “Poet in New York”, by Federico García Lorca

39. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, by Heinrich Böll

40. The Palm-Wine Drinkard, by Amos Tutuola

41. Ice, or anything by Anna Kavan

42. The Divine Proportion, by H.E. Huntley

43. Nadja, by André Breton

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Patti Smith possesses that strange form of intelligence in which, rather than the emotional and the intellectual eclipsing each other, they mutually enlighten each other. In this sense it could be argued that what Patti Smith did for punk, Charles Baudelaire did for poetry. However, Smith’s literary model is “Jo,” the headstrong artist of the family in L.M. Alcott’s Little Women, as her literary tastes are closer to adventures and explorers who get their own way than those of the poètes maudits.

Through her own books (such as her memoir Just Kids), Patti Smith has set out some preferences and authentic literary obsessions, with poets such as Arthur Rimbaud, and more recently two writers from South America, César Aira and Roberto Bolaño. Smith described Bolaño’s novel 2666 as the first masterpiece of the 21st century.

Reading lists (like this one from Borges) or what an artist has to say about themselves as a reader (like Virginia Woolf) are a curiosity and a channel of communication between their work and that which inspires their creation.

Here are some more literary recommendations from the great Patti Smith:

.

1. The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov

2. Journey to the East, by Hermann Hesse

3. The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse

4. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad

5. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville

6. “Billy Budd” by Herman Melville

7. Songs of Innocence and Experience, by William Blake

8. The Wild Boys, by William Burroughs

9. “Howl”, by Allen Ginsberg

10. “A Season in Hell”, by Arthur Rimbaud

11. Wittgenstein’s Poker, by David Edmonds and John Eidinow

12. Villete, by Charlotte Brönte

13. The Process, by Brion Gysin

14. Cain’s Book, by Alexander Trocchi

15. Coriolanus, by William Shakespeare

16. The Happy Prince, by Oscar Wilde

17. The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles

18. “Against Interpretation”, by Susan Sontag

19. The Oblivion Seekers (translated into English by Paul Bowles), by Isabelle Everhardt

20. The Women of Cairo, by Gérard de Nerval

21. Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry

22. Dead Souls, by Nikolai Gogol

23. The Book of Disquiet, by Fernando Pessoa

24. The Death of Virgil, by Hermann Broch

25. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, by J.D. Salinger

26. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger

27. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

28. A Night of Serious Drinking, by René Daumal

29. In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, by Marcel Proust

30. A Happy Death, by Albert Camus

31. The First Man, by Albert Camus

32. The Waves, by Virginia Woolf

33. Big Sur, by Jack Kerouac

34. Anything by H.P. Lovecraft

35. Anything by W.G. Sebald

36. The Thief’s Journal, by Jean Genet

37. Arcades Project, or anything by Walter Benjamin

38. “Poet in New York”, by Federico García Lorca

39. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, by Heinrich Böll

40. The Palm-Wine Drinkard, by Amos Tutuola

41. Ice, or anything by Anna Kavan

42. The Divine Proportion, by H.E. Huntley

43. Nadja, by André Breton

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