90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Literary Americans Abroad

Young literary Americans abroad, from Ernest Hemingway at the bullfights to novelist Ben Lerner right now.

The Atocha train station in Madrid, Spain. (lacasitosdechorizo/Flickr)

The Atocha train station in Madrid, Spain. (lacasitosdechorizo/Flickr)

“You are all a lost generation,” Gertrude Stein told Ernest Hemingway, the iconic young American abroad after World War I. Lost, maybe. But Hemingway’s American abroad was lost in bullfights and brawling. Spanish passion.

In his first novel, “The Sun Also Rises,” 1926, his Americans are flawed, but American competence and power are unquestioned. Flash forward most of a century. A new voice of the young American abroad is speaking. And it’s a much more modest voice.

This hour, On Point: From Hemingway to our time, and Ben Lerner’s “Leaving the Atocha Station.”

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ben Lerner, poet and novelist, his new new book is Leaving the Atocha Station.

Gary Sernovitz, a novelist, his review of Leaving The Atocha Station is here.

Steve Paul, arts editor at the Kansas City Star and an expert on Ernest Hemingway.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “In a book soaked in references to art and literature, there is no evident allusion to another short first novel centered on a young Midwesterner in Spain: “The Sun Also Rises,” published in 1926. Lerner’s novel could have the same epigraph as Ernest Hemingway’s — Gertrude Stein: “You are all a lost generation” — and both books remind us that if you are far from home, alienated from life’s clean meaning, unfulfilled in love, and have a lot of time on your hands, you can at least make the days pass by being stoned, drunk or both.”

The New Yorker “He may be aimless, but he has a poised intelligence, hospitable to paradox and dialectic, so that his “profound experience of the absence of profundity” becomes, for the reader, an engrossing inquiry into a man’s shallow depths; this short novel, in which nothing much happens, never feels like a longer one.”

Video: Midnight in Paris And Hemingway

Filmmaker Woody Allen parodied a young Ernest Hemingway in his 2011 film “Midnight in Paris.” Hemingway is played by the actor Corey Stoll.

Excerpt: Leaving The Atocha Station

[Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.]

Playlist

Main theme The Sun Also Rises 1957
“And I was born” by The Lab

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 27, 2015
Flowers and ribbons adorn a tree outside the Weinstein family house in Rockville, Md. last week. Earlier, President Barack Obama ook full responsibility for the counterterror missions and offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the hostages, Warren Weinstein of Rockville, Maryland, and Giovanni Lo Porto who were inadvertently killed by CIA drone strikes early this year. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

American drone policy and consequences. We’ll look at secret strikes and the evolution of drone war.

Apr 27, 2015
Former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner at a charity event in 2013. (Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP)

Bruce Jenner opens up about his gender journey. We’ll look at the big picture of transgender life in America now.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

Artists of earth and sky. Rawhide, bear claw, eagle feathers and the glory of America’s Plans Indians, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 
Apr 24, 2015
The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

Loretta Lynch gets a vote. Race and anger in Baltimore. Migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Petraeus, sentenced. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Your Favorite Musical Memories Of Rain
Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015

When we say ‘rain,’ you say ‘…?’ (Here’s what you really said when we said ‘rain.’)

More »
6 Comments
 
Three LIVE Tracks From Flor De Toloache
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Fantastic live tracks from the amazing women of Flor de Toloache.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 17, 2015
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Interactions on Facebook, campaign time begins and a truck full of bees.

More »
2 Comments