February 29, 2020   |   by admin

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.

Author: Taran Faugar
Country: Bahamas
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Politics
Published (Last): 18 August 2005
Pages: 422
PDF File Size: 17.69 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.91 Mb
ISBN: 899-5-91535-903-6
Downloads: 6110
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Voshicage

Well wrought meditations on aesthetics and the creative process wrapped inside a character driven narrative. Even though we see no research happening in these phases, Adam writes poems which Teresa, a poet in her own right, translates. Unconnected is more like it. I enjoyed the location and the almost cinematic scenes in which Adam wanders through his time in Spain but it is a film not a movie which is a meditation on reality and art, serious in its intention but carried along in laughter.

However, I must add that the writing is often fantastic. That his fear of being seen as a fraud causes him to behave with extraordinary fraudulence accounts for much of the humor in this often very funny novel. He is a chronic liar he tells a woman that his mother, alive and well in Kansas, is dead to get, I think, her sympathy and wonders if his lies are art or pathology. Adam then discovers that his inability to converse in Spanish has certain advantages: At one point in the novel, Gordon reads a selection from Selected Poems.

One was “associative fiction.

Since Adam Gordon and Ben Lerner share some important similarities, it is tempting to say that the novel is not only about the way life and art have a habit of infecting each other, but also an example of that infection. For a long minute he was quiet and then he again released a sob. In the last phase of my research fireflies were disappearing. And Adam indulges in several acts of real cruelty or weirdness – claiming his mother leeaving dead or dying of cancer, running up enormous debts on his parents’ credit cards – without the author giving us thw to forgive or excuse or justify such behavior.


Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner – review

This is probably because the main character himself has a sort of slow-drawl chill way of meandering from place to place and just finding himself in these situations. After a few minutes I heard footsteps on the dry grass: People were talking about politics, or everything seemed suddenly political. The seas were closing in over future readers. I formed several possible stories out of her speech, formed them at once, so it was less like I failed to understand than that I understood in chords, understood in a plurality of worlds.

He would cover himself entirely with the blanket. Another interesting and sort of jarring example of this distance between self and self in the text is a sudden and brief switch between first to third person narration:.

The cut forces a change. Adam Gordon — as the author calls the narrator — is a young American poet, in Madrid on a fellowship in I wonder if there is something wrong with me. For a long minute he was quiet and then he again released a sob. Per esempio, Adam Gordon atoha una caratteristica che non so se Lerner possiede: He would take my siesta then.

This kind of plurality appears probably on every page of this book. He also doesn’t seem to notice that he’s more or less a non-gendered metrosexual who, when things go bad, checks himself out in the mirror. I absolutely adored this book. Adam’s antics have the flavor of a Woody Allen movie, his hand-wringing about authenticity always accompanied by compulsive duplicity and self-sabotage. But they’re also beautiful and touching and precise. And never more so than I read Leaving the Atocha Station in Madrid, which undoubtedly helped me enjoy its tale of a young American poet adrift in the Spanish city.

Want to Read saving….

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner | Quarterly Conversation

The ending also seems a bit arbitrary. Books by Ben Lerner.


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. Was he, I wondered, just facing the wall to hide his face as he dealt with whatever grief he’d brought atochw the museum?

Miguel was screaming at me and the noise brought Isabel and her friends back from the atcha. It might be possible to get closer to what this novel means than I do through what is written above. This plurality of interpretation is perhaps most acutely relevant to poetry—in fact Adam only seems to care about poetry in its ability to convey an echo of poetic possibility.

In fact, page after page the guy is literally, not figuratively nauseous or vomiting. 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 and forensics. He would rush up the six flights of stairs, find the key, drop the bag, and throw himself on the bed. Everything else is an interminable distance away.

Authenticity and plurality in Leaving the Atocha Station

The world really is a lot more interesting than you allow. 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 so well-met to feeling fine about the same. He’s certainly not, as I frequently thought he would be, the archetypal loser who gets the girl. Once the man calmed down, which took at least two minutes, he wiped his face and blew his nose with a handkerchief he then returned to his pocket.