Cf his10:04 this is dull, pettishly self regarding verbosity. We’re left with a character that we come to know intimately, but who leaves us as an indeterminate sign. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2019. "Jim Dixon lives!" It is as though the actual Ashbery poem were concealed from you, written on the other side of the mirrored surface. When the 2004 Madrid train bombings strike the Atocha Station and bring the War on Terror and the Terrorists’ War on Us into Spain it is a moment in the narrative where Adam is at his most sexually jealous. It rings true. Here we move away from the single point of “the experience of experience” to a more dynamic vector: The experience of the desire of desire– The desire to be accepted, loved, feted, translated; the degree to which one will lie in order to achieve these goals and the self-disgust that comes with betraying one’s history, family or friends in the process. 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. Reviewed in the United States on August 8, 2020. At one point in the novel, Gordon reads a selection from Selected Poems. The narrator is a poet who is on a fellowship in Spain in 2004 and the narrative reflects the hyper self-awareness of the “experience of experience” as Ashbery has described his own work. Or he could just click on the most recent issue of Insurgent Notes where Loren Goldner has an excellent article on the subject. I found it hard to keep going. For Grossman, this arises out of a kind of contradiction at the heart of poetry that’s always been with us, what he calls “the bitter logic of the poetic principle.” Poetic logic is bitter because the poem is structurally foredoomed. The sexual encounters of the novel, however, are veiled and not explicitly described. Description. So is this novel a critique of a self-interested American who narcissistically attempts to escape history while history is erupting all around? Depending on one’s own history, nationality, gender, ethnicity, vocation one may feel the journey of this novel in contradictory ways. A very worthwhile read. His insecurities can prove frustrating but the journey he undertakes during the course of the novel resulted in me feeling more sympathy with his inner thoughts than I did when he first introduced himself. The contradiction of his habitual lying and the harsh honesty of his commentary create a fascinating human puzzle. Nahhh Nahhhh Nahhh Nahhhh. But, of course, "New York" loved it. No, we've definitely been here before. To all these questions Atocha Station is an answer.” —Vulture. I want to read a more recent "novel" to see if Lerner has evolved. Here I delivered a version of the answer I had memorized for my Spanish exam in Providence, a long answer composed by a fluent friend, regarding the significance of the Spanish Civil War, about which I knew nothing, for a generation of writers, few of whom I’d read; I intended to write, I explained, a long, research-driven poem exploring the war’s literary legacy. The poet, editor and art critic John Ashbery begins the interview by reading his poem “Leaving the Atocha Station.”. I put it down after thirty or forty pages. The acerbic and hilarious descriptions of the unpleasant protagonist's inner mind are insightful and very well conveyed and I hoped it was to be a Lucky Jim styled chronicle of an outsider and misfit in Spanish literary circles. It’s an evocative vocabulary, difficult and disjunctive in a way that mirrors, in my reading at least, the experience of experience, sure, but an experience that is sexually over-determined. Leaving the Atocha Station Quotes Showing 1-30 of 31. Without detouring now forever into the nuances of white working-class dysphoria or the politics of punk, this outspoken, emotional and purposefully discomfiting challenge had a disorienting effect on my mind: Why do I like what I like, and what is artistic enjoyment anyway? He is a remarkable bullshit artist. But a novel can’t really be “about” the gap between language and the real, or can it? Open Letters Monthly. He continues by discussing the comparison between his poetry and modern art, as well as the comparison between his work and the work of similar poets. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 13, 2018. The desire to erase the experience as the poem ends and its initial “economy” perhaps evoke a sexual encounter with a prostitute: Desire and shame experienced simultaneously. It provides much cause for reflection on the self, the power of art in a political context and on the integrity of the artist. The poet’s candor stops at a point and it is perhaps this domain of sex where narrative or prose seems inappropriate and ill suited. And the narrator in the library staring at the stacks wouldn’t forget the Americans who fought and died either, the Abraham Lincoln Brigades. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. now “appreciate in this economy of pleasure.”. Although the poet-narrator Adam Gordon never visits any prostitutes, much of his experiences revolve around Teresa and Isabel, two Spanish women who he has relationships with. But unlike the window-washer hero of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying who finds his way to become chairman of the board in one week, the poet Adam Gordon is no charming Machiavellian tyro-turned-tycoon.