Leav­ing the Atocha Station

Ben Lern­er
  • From the Publisher
February 27, 2013

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 Sta­tionis a por­trait of the artist as a young man in an age of Google search­es, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, and spectacle.

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