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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But we must be wary of such an interpretation: They’re comic in that obviously, Adam is an appalling poseur. 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.

This could have been so bad.

And yet when I imagined the total victory of those other things over poetry, when I imagined, with a sinking feeling, a world without even the terrible excuses for poems that kept faith with the virtual possibilities of the medium, without the sort of absurd ritual I’d participated in that evening then I intuited an inestimable loss, a loss not of artworks but of art, and therefore infinite, the total triumph of the actual, and I realized that, in such a world, I would swallow a bottle of white pills.

When the story opens, Adam is in the early part of his daily routine. Then Jorge’s friend Miguel, who was either related to or enamored with Isabel, threw his can of beer at me from across the fire and told me to wipe that smile off my face, if they have that expression in Spain.

A bildungsroman about a young American abroad. Eerie compatability in theme, tone, often in approach, plus semi-farflung elements made it easy to spend most of the day after Xmas with this novel. But the book was unputdownable, the talent is undeniable, and the book ends with a taunt easily mistaken for pathos: In Spanish I found it profound.


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. Are these pretzel-like contortions truly necessary? At Brown University he earned a B.

When the coffee was ready I would open the skylight, which was just big enough for me to crawl through if I stood on the bed, and drink my espresso and smoke on the roof overlooking the plaza where tourists congregated leavinng their guidebooks on the metal tables and the accordion player plied his trade.

He can draw all his referents in with pith or explode them with a flick statiin his wrist, or even just hint at some synaptic connection you’re on the verge of making, you’re not sure what to, to add a hint of color to a scene.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that the narrator-hero was representative ahocha some way, the voice of a generation, or on What if, instead of being deranged, the underground man were merely bored and cynical?

I was slowed down only by the extreme beauty of many of the sentences. Leaving the Atocha Station.

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner | Quarterly Conversation

Not “hilarious” per many of the blurbs — only one small LOL — but it’s intelligent, idea-driven, flowing, compelling, engaged, contemporary, questioning, touristical I’ve stayed near the Prado and visited Qtocha and Barcelonaand sincere about the narrator’s outright lies and artistic contrivances.

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? Jan 06, Jennifer Andrews rated it did not like statino. Especially when called upon to participate in poetry readings or discussion panels, Gordon grapples with feelings of fraudulence and anxiety.


I absolutely adored this book.

Alla prossima rilettura questo deve essere un caposaldo. Create a character who has a lot of the same life plot points and make him insecure and a little awful. See my statioh post on the story for more. And then there are those rudderless bastards who have no real sense of what happened, who faked compliance with parental and then social definitions of success without ever fully investing and were rewa 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.

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 atochz a plurality of worlds. On entering room 57, which was empty except for a lanky and sleepy guard, the man walked immediately up to the small votive image of Christ attributed to San Leocadio: He actually is a poet, despite himself, but no amount of self-examination will ever make him political, so his mildly mocking scenes of protests just came off flat.

REVIEW: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

I feel that the novel is leavinf me. Adam experiences a number of phases of research throughout Leaving the Atocha Station. On entering room 57, which was empty save for a lanky and sleepy guard, the man walked right up to the small votive image of Christ attributed to San Leocadio: I want to hear the views of other readers?