LEAVING THE ATOCHA STATION PDF

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It won the Believer Book Award. The first-person narrator of the novel, Adam Gordon, is an American poet in his early 20s participating in a prestigious fellowship in Madrid circa The stated goal of his fellowship is to write a long narrative poem highlighting literature's role in the Spanish Civil War. Gordon, however, spends his time reading Tolstoy , smoking spliffs , and observing himself observing his surroundings.

He also pursues romantic and sexual relationships with two Spanish women, lying to them and others to elicit sympathy and avoid responsibility. 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.

Especially when called upon to participate in poetry readings or discussion panels, Gordon grapples with feelings of fraudulence and anxiety. However, Lerner has said:. The protagonist doesn't unequivocally undergo a dramatic transformation, for instance, but rather the question of "transformation" is left open, and people seem to have strong and distinct senses about whether the narrator has grown or remained the same, whether this is a sort of coming of age story or whether it charts a year in the life of a sociopath.

At one point in the novel, Gordon reads a selection from Selected Poems. Ashbery called Lerner's Leaving the Atocha Station "[a]n extraordinary novel about the intersections of art and reality in contemporary life. The New Statesman named it one of the best books of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Dewey Decimal. Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 December The Tennis Court Oath.

Leaving the Atocha Station. Coffee House Press. Back Cover. The New Yorker. Dec 19, Retrieved May 1, The Guardian. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Contribute Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Languages Add links. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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S eventy years ago Albert Camus published the novel known in English as The Outsider : a short and vivid monologue that — I remember this from school — doubles as some kind of philosophical manifesto. The narrator, Meursault, is a French Algerian whose mother is reported dead in the famous opening sentence; later, on a beach, he will murder someone — an Arab, as the song by the Cure reminded us in — for almost no reason. Ben Lerner's remarkable first novel is narrated by a different kind of outsider: a young American living in Madrid on a poetry scholarship in Adam Gordon suffers frequently from linguistic dislocation and — permanently — from bipolarity which he self-medicates with a cocktail of prescription drugs, coffee, nicotine, booze and marijuana.

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It won the Believer Book Award. The first-person narrator of the novel, Adam Gordon, is an American poet in his early 20s participating in a prestigious fellowship in Madrid circa The stated goal of his fellowship is to write a long narrative poem highlighting literature's role in the Spanish Civil War. Gordon, however, spends his time reading Tolstoy , smoking spliffs , and observing himself observing his surroundings. He also pursues romantic and sexual relationships with two Spanish women, lying to them and others to elicit sympathy and avoid responsibility. 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.

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Leaving the Atocha Station

Petersburg, was easily crushed by Nicholas I, the new tsar. The young man was thrown into a quandary. Adam—at once ideological and post-ideological, vaguely engaged and profoundly spectatorial, charming and loathsome—is a convincing representative of twenty-first-century American Homo literatus. Like Pechorin, Adam is sometimes emotionless but is also abruptly changeable—sometimes oddly histrionic, and at other moments oddly passive. Before he can start anything, he is already measuring his failure and fraudulence. To combat this weakness, he has developed the arts of deception.

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Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner – review

N othing is more American — "whatever that means" — than running away to Europe, avoiding your countryfolk, pretending not to be American at all. But he really hates the would-be expatriate intellectuals "who, when they spoke Spanish, exaggerated the peninsular lisp", and hates them mostly — as will be obvious — because he is one of them himself. Adam Gordon — as the author calls the narrator — is a young American poet, in Madrid on a fellowship in Supposedly, he is working on composing "a long and research-driven poem, whatever that might mean" about the Spanish civil war. But really, his "research" is taking quite a different shape. Mostly, it involves dodging engagements at "the Foundation" that is funding him, while reading Lorca , and following the Iraq occupation on the New York Times online.

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