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
Dec 22, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. (AP)

A weak ruble and a turbulent economy. We look at Putin’s Russia and what its economic free fall means.

Dec 22, 2014
A sample of some of the costumes on display at the fall 2014 "Dance & Fashion" exhibition at New York City's Museum at FIT. (AP)

Couture fashion exhibits are drawing record crowds at museums. We’ll look at the beauty and the art behind the glitz.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

 
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment