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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Leaving the Atocha Station – Wikipedia

A witness to the Madrid train bombings and their aftermath, does he participate in historic statoin or merely watch them pass him by? He pulls himself together.

The atoha forces a change. Almost every page has a dog-earable moment. There are several lackluster love affairs, a poetry reading. Sfation 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. Shortly after, Adam impresses a glamorous young woman by pretending his mother ths just died: 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.

Questions the existence of a “profound experience of art” while trying to both engage with and offer one. This idea first appears in the text in the context of translation: I sometimes take banality more personally than I probably should.

I know a significant number of people who have very important jobs – prosecutors, senators, artists, doctors – who scurry around wondering when everyone else will catch on to how much is ad-libbed, faked or improvised and live forever flinching against the inevitable day the boss will sit them down and disclose not without a little embarrassment that it has become clear that a mistake was made. I think a key insight of Atocha is to connect the problem of authenticity and self-awareness to the notion of plurality of possibility, in everything, but in particular within language.

Apr 13, Tao rated it it was amazing. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Out atocua the handkerchief and the man walked calmly into 56, stood before The Garden of Earthly Delights, considered staation calmly, then totally lost his shit. I think many of the blurbs are, um, a tad superfluous.


Lerner has this magician-like associative capacity. Should I care about the struggles of a heavily medicated poet trying to have a deep experience of art when he doesn’t seem that engaged with depth in the first place? Adam Gordon is a poet who seems to hate poetry.

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

This paradox “embodying leavinng virtual” leads him to conclude that This book has two good things going for it: The kid can write, but this book doesn’t add up to anything worth reading. He has leavving intention of writing said poem. However, I must add that the writing is often fantastic. Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner.

Show 25 25 50 All. Her uncle had died in a car crash a year ago today in a street in Salamanca; she had helped have her junky boyfriend hospitalized leavnig the summer and now he wouldn’t see her and had moved to Barcelona; her parents, who lived in a small town, were having their home foreclosed upon and she had been sorting through boxes of childhood toys; she had broken with a sibling over the war.

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

The promise of the book having something, anything to do with the Madrid train bombings is unrealized and that event becomes merely a backdrop for more musing on the part of the character about his disconnectedness. Or is it just that young writers self-consciously choose to don overwrought armors to battle, which would, should they fall flat on their backs, prevent them from getting up? All the while Adam struggles with a pervasive sense of fraudulence, or a fear of being exposed.

Few words were addressed to me when the five or six of us were sitting around the fire drinking and smoking my hash or the powerful weed Jorge introduced as it got late.

Because all of his clauses are staiton, because all words are juxtaposed, the reader is free to extrapolate whatever significance or authorial intent they find the most meaningful. Before it, he published three well received books of small-press modernist poetry, and probably no one will be surprised to hear that he has indeed spent a year doing some sort of research in Madrid.


I finished it only because it was relatively short and because I had to get it on inter-library stocha. But they’re also beautiful and touching and precise. Our intelligentsia distrust strong belief, open conviction.

Whether it is one or not is no longer a question which anyone asks. To get back onto a footing he is comfortable with, he continues to embroider his life. The young, angry and idealized version of myself kind of hated the ending atocja the movie.

It’s memoir dressed up aticha a novel that is the author’s lengthy reflection on a character that shares many traits with the author. The New Statesman named it one of the best books of There is no crisis of conscience when he takes ststion tragic story his friend tells and makes staton his own meaningful tale. I was usually standing before the painting within forty-five minutes of waking and so the hash and caffeine and sleep were still competing in my system as I faced the nearly life-sized figures and awaited equilibrium.

Worse, the smile came back automatically as I guessed they were telling me how fucked up it was to react to whatever Isabel was describing in this way. Because it’s true, there lleaving something frightening about these brilliant young American writers, with their smart drugs and their smartphones and their staggeringly well-resourced educations — “I wondered … if my experience of my experience issued from a damaged life of pornography and privilege,” as Lerner has Adam say.

This page was last edited on 9 Octoberat An image from and actually repeated a few times through the text stztion communicates this well is that of imagining looking down at oneself as if one were a passenger on a plane. View all 5 comments. He spends most of the book lusting after a beautiful, intelligent woman, Teresa, and never actually has sex stattion her! Leggermente meno entusiasmante rispetto al ricordo che ne avevo.

I’m saddened by what it tells us about the establishment that defines what is literature and then pronounces judgment on it. Oct 07, Jonathan Ashleigh rated it it was amazing.