Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

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retrospectively this guy can go fuck himself

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 29 August 2014 22:40 (six years ago) link

Lol why? I still haven't read him.

ODB's missing grammy (bernard snowy), Friday, 29 August 2014 23:19 (six years ago) link

this novel irked me. idk, more when im not posting from the bathroom

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Saturday, 30 August 2014 17:04 (six years ago) link

take your time

ODB's missing grammy (bernard snowy), Saturday, 30 August 2014 18:02 (six years ago) link

it gave up its best schticks ("was he having an authentic experience of art??") ("but you're a fluent speaker") way too early

it enlisted the madrid train bombings for emotional heft

the ending, at the poetry reading, was unearned given that the narrator is an insufferable butthead throughout -- like whatever we are meant to draw from the stuff about the translating/creating that's going on is suddenly not being played for laughs unlike his praxis/existence before, but it seems if anything more banal, trite, an obvious set of shibboleths. it occurs to me as i write that maybe the novel was playing a smarter game than i thought, that whatever's happening at the end should be taken in the same mood as i.e. his projections about women and his getting lost, but then it's just a dumb nihilistic novel instead of a dumb novel featuring unearned redemption

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 31 August 2014 08:01 (six years ago) link

i did read the linked bit of the lichtenberg figures, the other night, while i was waiting in an airport terminal: those i liked, i guess

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 31 August 2014 08:02 (six years ago) link

four months pass...

I tried hard to imagine my poems or any poems as machines that could make things happen, changing the government, or the economy or even their language, the body or its sensorium, but I could not imagine this, could not even imagine imagining it. And yet when I imagined the total victory of those other things over poetry, when I imagined, with a sinking feeling, a world without even the terrible excuses for poems that kept faith with the virtual possibilities of the medium, without the sort of absurd ritual I'd participated in that evening then I intuited an inestimable loss, a loss not of artworks but of art, and therefore infinite, the total triumph of the actual, and I realized that, in such a world, I would swallow a bottle of white pills.

Treeship, Monday, 5 January 2015 02:48 (five years ago) link

nine months pass...

i thought the first 30 or 40 pages of this were really good, but as soon as it got into the lovesick girl stuff i just tuned out. boring & typical. gonna read 10:04 next, hoping for something better

flappy bird, Thursday, 29 October 2015 18:15 (four years ago) link

seven months pass...

New Lerner short story here. If you liked 10:04 you'll like this, but it's kind of the same old schtick.

Zelda Zonk, Friday, 3 June 2016 08:53 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

read abt half of 10:04 on a plane yesterday and one of my first reactions while reading was i bet treeship likes or would like this

johnny crunch, Thursday, 28 July 2016 13:07 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

the new novel -- the topeka school -- is excellent until the last section, when it devolves into moral pedantry. the failure is more pronounced given how good the climax was -- and how complex the characters were. it shouldn't all resolve into a bite size/social media ready comment about masculinity

treeship., Friday, 10 January 2020 21:22 (eight months ago) link

I have only been peripherally aware of this dude, but seeing Topeka School on best of 2019 lists piqued my interest. Where should I start?

jaymc, Friday, 10 January 2020 21:31 (eight months ago) link

Leaving the atocha station and then the short monograph, the hatred of poetry, which follows up on themes from the novel about negative capability

treeship., Friday, 10 January 2020 21:38 (eight months ago) link

If you like those then the topeka school next.

His poems are kind of cool too. I like the first collection best—the lichtenberg figures.

treeship., Friday, 10 January 2020 21:38 (eight months ago) link

I liked 10:04 better than either Atocha or Topeka, haven't read the poems.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Sunday, 12 January 2020 18:54 (eight months ago) link


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