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Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

Leaving the Atocha Station (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Ben Lerner (Author)

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6343323,969 (3.58)14
Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American poet on a prestigious fellowship in Madrid, struggling to establish his sense of self and his relationship to art. What is actual when our experiences are mediated by language, technology, medication, and the arts? Is poetry an essential art form, or merely a screen for the reader's projections? Instead of following the dictates of his fellowship, Adam's "research" becomes a meditation on the possibility of the genuine in the arts and beyond: are his relationships with the people he meets in Spain as fraudulent as he fears his poems are? A witness to the 2004 Madrid train bombings and their aftermath, does he participate in historic events or merely watch them pass him by? In prose that veers between the comic and tragic, the self-contemptuous and the inspired, Leaving the Atocha Station is a portrait of the artist as a young man in an age of Google searches, pharmaceuticals, and spectacle. Born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979, Ben Lerner is the author of three books of poetry The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and the recipient of a 2010-2011 Howard Foundation Fellowship. In 2011 he became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie. Leaving the Atocha Station is his first novel.… (more)
Title:Leaving the Atocha Station
Authors:Ben Lerner (Author)
Info:Coffee House Press (2011), Edition: Second Printing, 186 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, read, Autographed

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Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner (2011)

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    Torpor by Chris Kraus (Philosofiction)
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    The Sorrows of Young Mike by John Zelazny (jashleigh)
    jashleigh: These books are both great travel books and the main characters are going through a similar time in their lives.

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» See also 14 mentions

English (30)  Spanish (2)  Piratical (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
I fear this book is about the character that we have become. ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Enjoyed some of the prose, but the narrator was annoying. Reminded me a bit of la movida, but these people had money to burn. Kind of obnoxious protagonist, playing with tranquilizers and angst. Meh. ( )
  KymmAC | Jan 29, 2018 |
An american in Spain. Familiar title? And he is not very familiar with anyone - at least not with himself. This young man with a scholarship to study spanish poetry is portrayed from the main person´s inside. We are inside his head - and what sort of head; bewildered, shifting, addicted, weed smoking, lying and constructing stories - not able to involve his self in anything. Not unlike many other youngster or young men, but although with a certain everlasting distance to everything that happens. In that way the main character is leading in an un-engaged way of existence all through his stay in Spain - a very near diagnosis, the way I read him.
  lestrond | Apr 5, 2017 |
I really wasn't at all impressed by this book. There were a few pages that took my interest, and it wasn't too long so I was able to keep going to the end. Moreover, there was something about the main character that made me want to keep reading - just as I might not be able to stop staring at a car crash wreckage. I think I may have been better off if I had encountered someone telling me "Nothing to see here, folks, just keep moving on". ( )
  oldblack | Dec 13, 2016 |
Fascinating and infuriating, though only someone who is not very self-aware would deny the insight into the intricacies of internal solipsism and neurotic rationalization that most people experience but would rarely admit. ( )
  ronhenry | Nov 17, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Lernerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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