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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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.

It was so well-received I thought he could perhaps pull it out. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Here I discuss a few of my favorite ideas from the book.

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner | Quarterly Conversation

The first lie comes when he tells Teresa a Spanish girl he might love who translates his poems into Spanish that his mother died. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Many critics seemed to think this book was an astute look at the artist’s connection to art, but actually he had little to say on it. InLibrary Journal named it one of the year’s twelve best books of poetry.

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. Lists with This Book.

I sometimes take banality more personally than I probably should. Stefan I thought it was pure genius: May 11, Michael rated it it was amazing. Mi sforzai di immagi Prima rilettura del What if, instead of being deranged, the underground man were merely bored and cynical?


Presupposing that he is an important poet, his audiences imbue his incoherence with subjectively important meanings and react as though they have heard something profound. It would be unfair to tell you how it ended, though I stayed to the end out of curiosity. I absolutely adored this book. Women are names only, though he does describe their clothes. Return to Book Page.

Leaving the Atocha Station

Midway through, of course, the book does engage much more with historical context, but with a bemused affectation that retains the author’s confidence that the answers are all already there inside his head, in the shapes of his thoughts.

It is hardly necessary that we remind our American readers that for the free world’s great, lon Since his books were so great it only stands to reason that his recommendation must be tinged with equal brilliance, right?

Supposedly, he is working on composing “a long and research-driven poem, whatever that might mean” about the Spanish civil war. And in that translation there is incredible room for plurality: This paradox “embodying the virtual” leads him to conclude that poetry is a intrinsically failed endeavor, and is the reason why he feels like a total fake for posing as a poet, which feeling is either caused by or causes him leavinb indulge in heavy drug use and the slacking off expected of procrastinating statioon abroad, with no financial obligations and too much time on their hands.

Jan 04, Greg rated it liked it Shelves: It could be it is quite good. Recommended to fans of Geoff Dyer. He would take my siesta then.

He tells several people that his mother has recently died, recounts a friend’s experience of a failed attempt to rescue a drowned woman as if it was his own, and uses his sometimes feigned lack of Spanish fluency to falsely suggest that his thoughts are too profound and complex to convey outside of his native language.

It seems stagion me this is an earnest investigation into the possibilities of art to comment on reality and have a “profound effect” on people, in the guise of a self-reflective, postmodern, dark-humored romp, a technique that brings to mind the dilemma common in DFW: Is this dilemma the true condition of contemporary literature?


Never miss a story from Electric Literaturewhen you sign up for Medium. It was the deadliest day since the invasion began. Nov 28, christa rated it really liked it.

It’s this interior leavimg that caught me and reminded me of both Virginia Woolf and Fernando Pessoa. Because all of his clauses are subordinate, because all words are juxtaposed, the reader is free to extrapolate whatever significance or authorial intent they find the most meaningful.

I arrived one morning at the Van der Weyden to find someone had taken my place. Refresh and try again. Miguel was screaming at me and the noise brought Isabel and her friends back from the lake. But the hotel might be a false shelter.

This kind of plurality appears probably on every page of this book. Maybe this lleaving is an artist, Leavng thought; what if he doesn’t feel the transports he performs, what if the scenes he produces are intended to force the institution to face its contradiction in the person of these guards. Next my project required dropping myself back through the skylight, shitting, taking a shower, my white pills, and getting dressed.

Mostly, it involves dodging engagements at “the Foundation” that is funding him, while reading Lorcaand following the Iraq occupation on the New York Times online. I did find it cold, but most poetry leaves me cold.