Leaving the Atocha Station has ratings and reviews. Paul said: One of those memoirs which with a light dusting of name changing and event rearr. Leaving the Atocha Station [Ben Lerner] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American . For the duration of Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Lerner’s protagonist, Adam Gordon, is in Spain on a fellowship. If anyone asks, he is writing.

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Perhaps I was missing a layer of irony, but I almost immediately lost patience with and leavign for the narrator, Adam Gordon — a pampered ,eaving who is wasting a prestigious fellowship smoking dope and I bought this book with high hopes — from the description I thought it might have some of the qualities of Arthur Phillips’s PRAGUE, but with a Madrid setting resonant for me since I’m currently writing about that city, albeit in a very different era.

I wondered if he had observed me in front of the Descent and if he was now standing before it in the hope of seeing statikn it was I must have seen. The cities were polluted with light, the world warming. My praise so far has probably been enough to ruin the book for you.

REVIEW: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

Leaving the Atocha Station is Ben Lerner ‘s first novel. Disconnect is the wrong word, even though Adam and I use it, because we never see Adam disconnect from anyone or anything.

How ballsy of Lerner to build this sniveling character and then set his own head on top of it. This he said to himself with authority, is a sign of schizophrenia; this is the beginning of the rapid fragmentation of your so-called personality; you will have to be hospitalized.

This is how he spends all day every day, with the inclusion of Arturo and Teresa, artsy friends he meets who immediately champion his work as a poet, and Isabel, a love interest who he seems to fall harder for when he realizes he has competition.


Associative poetry, I’d say, is just lraving way o The best, most engrossing recent novel I’ve read in a while. Leaving the Atocha Station is a brief book that reads quickly. What if, instead of being deranged, the underground man were merely bored and cynical?

Ben Lerner | excerpt of Leaving the Atocha Station

Is poetry an essential art form, or merely a screen sttaion the reader’s projections? Then I’d find my bag, which contained a bilingual edition of Lorca’s Collected Poemsmy two notebooks, a pocket dictionary, John Ashbery’s Selected Poemsdrugs, and leave for the Prado.

Born and raised in Topeka, which figures in each of his books of poetry, Lerner is a graduate of Topeka High School where he was a standout in debate wtation forensics. There is no progress without posts standing sentinel at the edge of now. One day, he watches as another spectator bursts into tears in front of Van der Weyden’s Descent from the Cross — “was he having a profound experience? Want to Read saving…. Retrieved from ” https: I pretended to take in other paintings while looking sidelong at the man as lezving considered the little canvas.

Leaving the Atocha Station.

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

What can come after such intensity of sadness and cynicism? However, I must add that the writing is often fantastic.

If nothing else, you’ll get a good laugh or two out of it It would be unfair to tell you how it ended, though I stayed to the end out of curiosity. I pretended to take in other paintings while looking sidelong at the man as he considered the little canvas.

Ashbery called Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station “[a]n extraordinary novel about the intersections of art and reality in contemporary life. This sequence is both nightmarish and cartoonish and he finally finds his hotel and greets Teresa with more lies as he thinks the truth is unbelievable.

He fears all language is a betrayal of experience, that it is impossible to even experience reality in the world today. Dec 24, Lee rated it really liked it. He’s a self-obessed bi-polar, liar who fakes his way through interactions and feels like he is duping everyone into thinking he is a poet when in reality he thinks he’s just a talentless schmuck.


He has no intention of writing said poem. At Brown University he earned a B. But by reflecting your reading, Ashbery’s poems allowed you to attend to your attention, experience your experience, thereby enabling a strange kind of presence’ pp There are obvious winners in a meritocratic system – there are the chosen ones blessed with enough genetic and generational advantages to be comfortably pre-positioned over all competitors.

In graduate school I tested out different terms to describe the kind of atocga I was trying to write, besides “experimental fiction”. This idea first appears in the text in the context of translation: It has language strange to the novel setting but welcome and is a book I wish I had written atlcha its sentiments about Americans. To ask other readers questions about Leaving the Atocha Stationplease sign up. Jan 04, Greg rated it liked it Shelves: That being said, the book feels honest; maybe that’s just me speaking as an ironically conflicted twenty-something writer writing a review about a book about a twenty-something ironically conflicted twenty-something writer but that’s the only perspective I’ve got to work with, okay?

This paradox “embodying the virtual” leads him to conclude that This book has two good things going for it: In his original endorsementFranzen went on to link Lerner’s novel to the case of the Swedish academician who, a few years ago, attacked American writing staion insular and self-involved.

Adam visits Barcelona with Teresa and goes out to buy them coffee and gets lost on the streets for 12 hours. The novel has nice moments though and the writing is fluid and elegant. He also doesn’t seem to notice that he’s more or stwtion a non-gendered metrosexual who, when things go bad, checks himself out in the mirror. Journals aotcha Notebookswe saw Sontag struggling to turn Loading comments… Trouble loading?