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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Reading an Ashbery sentence, an elaborate sentence stretched over many lines, one felt the arc and feel of thinking in the absence of thoughts Then I realized that I had been smiling my smile, just holding it there, paying no attention, while one of Jorge’s friends, Isabel, was telling what must have been a tragic story or confessing something painful, at least her voice was quiet and her tears were catching firelight.

For a long minute he was quiet and then he wtation released a sob.

Luckily for us this insecurity and immaturity was described with such a mature voice. As any good humanities major will do he over-contextualizes everything, and confuses convoluted thoughts with being ponderous ideas.

Adam Gordon is living the life of a poet in Madrid on fellowship from his American university.

It must remain a possibility when it passes out of his hands. This ability to dwell among possible referents, to let them interfere and separate like waves, to abandon the law of excluded middle while listening to Spanish—this was a breakthrough in my project, a change of phase. I thought it to be very believable.

Out came the handkerchief and the man walked calmly into 56, stood before The Garden of Earthly Delightsconsidered it calmly, then totally lost his shit. Immediately engaging, stxtion sure – crisp sentence rhythms, lots of vicious humor – but the narrator’s intense engagement with his own detachment ends up setting the whole narrative in an odd middle distance.


This idea first appears in the text in the context of translation: It’s this interior dialog that caught me and reminded me of both Virginia Woolf and Fernando Pessoa. I’m not convinced the drugs and the alcohol help.

Leaving the Atocha Station

When we meet Adam Gordon, he is on a poetry fellowship in Madrid. There are several lackluster love affairs, a poetry reading. Now some people — both critics and actual readers — have found this novel to be statoin hilarious.

Gordon, however, spends his time reading Tolstoysmoking spliffsand observing himself observing his surroundings. I loro sentimenti incerti, le emozioni distaccate. Lerner is hilarious when describing Adam’s attempt to follow a conversation with a young woman: It was less than a hundred feet to the lake.

REVIEW: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

A witness to the Lfaving train bombings and their aftermath, does he participate in historic events or merely watch them pass him by? A bildungsroman about a young American abroad. TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr The lie ramifies when he lets it slip to Isabel that his mother is alive. I was at least by this time repeating I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but Miguel broke loose or Jorge released him and he hit atocah in the mouth.

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

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. Shades of Bernhard’s “Old Masters” only at firstmaybe a leavijg bit of “The Stranger” my initial thought bubbles re: One day, he watches as another spectator bursts into atohca in front of Van der Weyden’s Tge from the Cross — “was he having a profound experience?


And never more so than the whole horribly hilarious saga in which he tells a girl he fancies that his mum’s dead so she won’t think he’s a pussy for crying for no reason, then tells his girlfriend the same thing for consistency, then accidentally says she’s alive in front of the girlfriend and has to backtrack, so decides to do so by claiming his mum is gravely ill and his dad — statio gentlest and most generous man I knew’ — is basically a Nazi.

It has language strange to the novel setting but welcome and is a book I wish I had written for its sentiments about Americans.

I had long stqtion that I was incapable of having a profound experience of art and I had trouble believing that anyone had, at least anyone I knew. At the moment his panic peaks he escapes back into his hotel.

REVIEW: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner – Electric Literature

They’re comic in that obviously, Adam is an appalling poseur. I did find it cold, but most poetry leaves me cold.

Through it all, the accolades keep coming and coming, and the grand arc of the story does little more than trace his migration from seeming flummoxed and conflicted about why his meager, unfocused poetic efforts are staion well-met to feeling fine about the same. An excellent debut from Lerner.

Lists with This Book. N othing is more American — “whatever that means” — than running away to Europe, avoiding your countryfolk, pretending not to be American at all.