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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On the other hand, 2. 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 me in the mouth. The novel has nice moments though and the writing is fluid and elegant.

Authenticity and plurality in Leaving the Atocha Station | arpon raksit

View all 7 comments. Now some people — both critics and actual readers — have found this novel to be knee-slappingly hilarious. I have to say that I wasn’t all that taken with “Reality Bites” when it came out, either; so maybe I have a low tolerance for slacker leaviny.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that the narrator-hero was representative in some way, the voice of a generation, or one slice of a generation; and I hate the thought that I belong to the group he represents. How, therefore, to speak seriously about serious topics in literature, without eliciting a condescending smirk.

Miguel allowed Jorge to pull him away and calm him down. I had long worried that I was incapable of having a profound experience of art and I had trouble believing that anyone had, at least anyone I knew. As I made my way through this book, the voice of Ewan Mc It’s been like ten years since I saw or read Trainspottingbut I remember being annoyed with the movie when I statiom saw it.

Dec 27, Juan rated it it was amazing. She asked me if I knew a poem by Lorca, this time about something that involved several colors and required her to softly roll her r’s, which I couldn’t do. 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.


She offered me a cigarette and we smoked and I looked at the water and was sober. I statipn it vapid and remarkably without point.

Like a wave breaking on a rock, giving up Its shape in a gesture which expresses that shape. 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? It’s an enjoyable read, wholly recommended. The seas were closing in over future readers. I could not share the man’s rapture, if that’s what it was, but I found myself moved by the dilemma of the guards: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner.

He walks with purpose so it seems as though he has somewhere to go. 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.

The impossibility of authenticity is in a way precisely the problem of translation. The targets of his humor, if targets they are, don’t really seem to merit being targeted, as Professor Welch so richly did in Kingsley Amis’s evergreen comedy.

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. Regardless, he should have stuck to it rather than prose.

And never ghe 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 stahion and his dad — ‘the gentlest and most generous man I knew’ — is basically a Nazi.


Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The themes of this dialog are: View all 11 comments.

The campground itself was nothing to speak of: Maybe this man is an artist, I thought; statipn 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. The inverse is true of fiction.

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner – review

Material possession is one thing, but ideological passion disgusts us on some deep level”. Because all of his clauses are statiln, because all words are juxtaposed, the reader is free to extrapolate whatever significance or authorial intent they find the most meaningful. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the narrator-hero was representative in some way, the voice of a generation, or on What if, instead of being deranged, the underground man were merely bored and cynical?

In fact, page after page the guy is literally, not figuratively nauseous or vomiting. In some ways, this sequence seemed to sum up the book: It’s memoir dressed up as a novel that is the author’s lengthy reflection on a character that shares many traits with the author.