Architecture in Contemporary Literature

Scenes from the Mind of an Artist (M Train)

Author(s): Gökçe Özdem * .

Pp: 206-212 (7)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815165166123010028

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Patti Smith's M Train resembles a mental train that stops at any station, at any time interval. With ambition and inspiration, Smith takes the reader on a journey between dreams and reality, past and present, books and country. Smith’s whole life can be considered a work of art. She is an unconventional artist who reveals herself in her relation to space. In an intertwined experience of time and space, we find Smith reminiscing on life, loss, and pains of creation. Smith's analogy of a clock with no hands refers to a frozen time, a memory where the past and the present coexist. This memory also contains the ties that a person establishes with their physical environment. The subjectivity of experience creates differences in the perception of a space. But how is it possible to resist time in our age of speed? This is what Smith presents to her readers: an infinite present. Smith's memory resists its loss, just as architecture resists time. Architecture witnesses personal and social tragedies and freezes them in time. In this sense, architecture turns into a memory remnant, a trace, and survives by creating a bridge between the past, present, and even the future. Smith's experience of the past in the present also makes it possible to interpret the relationship between architecture and experiential time. In this context, architecture reveals memory space and becomes an important factor in the reproduction of memory. Moreover, it can help revive and maintain memory by constructing new forms of expression. In this regard, personal and social memory emerges as a subject that should be emphasized in architectural research.

Keywords: Colonial architecture, Culture, Dark tourism, Experiential time, Eclecticism, Interaction, Literature, New objectivity, Past, Personal and social memory, Prison architecture, Present, Remnants of memory, Recall time, Stream of consciousness, Spaces of memory.

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