Adam Sexton. 1. What was I thinking? What was I thinking when I assigned John Updike’s The Centaur to my Lit. and Comp. I class at Parsons School of Design. The Centaur [John Updike] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD AND THE PRIX DU MEILLEUR. Editorial Reviews. Review. “A Triumph Of Love And Art.” — The Washington Post ” A brilliant The Centaur: A Novel – Kindle edition by John Updike. Download it.

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The first is simply his prose which is, for me, rather like a big box of candy. Interwoven with the myth jogn Chiron, the noblest centaur, and his own relationship to Prometheus, The Centaur is one of John Updike’s most brilliant and unusual novels. The narrative switches between George and his son Peter. Which is how I came to The Centau It wasn’t a bar bet, exactly, but one night not long ago I made a few sweeping and whiskey-fueled statements about the irrelevance and sexism of mid-century white dude novelists like Roth, Cheever, and Updike that quite unexpectedly garnered such a thoughtful, knowledgable defense of Updike from my friend Dave that the only possible way I saw to save face was to immediately promise to read the Updike novel of his choosing.

On another level is meaning and structure. Cntaur want to read more of this Updike guy! Caldwell’s son, Peter, narrates its realistic jhn in retrospect, from the p.

Woven into all this is Greek mythology; hence the title. It harks back to the stories of the time from Salinger and Isherwood and the like. The anatosaurus had two thousand teeth. When you stand before the stove you make, all unconscious, undulant motions with the upper half of your body like a drinking hen. Some other immortal would have to pay the price. Updike’s father was a schollteacher and like Peter in the book, Updike had psoriasis and loved art.


Preview — The Centaur by John Updike.

The Centaur by John Updike | : Books

I was tickled by its parlor-game aspect, though, when I encountered the book in high school, and still am. My students were Painting and Fashion and Photography and Architecture majors required by Parsons to take the course.

Henry Bech Olinger Brewer Tarbox. In reading them, I felt, ventaur feel, loved. In The CentaurGeorge Caldwell, the father, is afraid of his cancer and does not have any religious upduke.

Similarly, the novel’s image of Peter’s mother alone on an untended farm is one we later see in Updike’s novel Of the Farm.

Putting aside the oddities frequently irritating of George Caldwell’s behavior, one sees the genuine grief that can bind together a father and son and how upidke and anger and love can exist on one plane.

While teaching one morning, Caldwell is shot in the leg with an arrow Is this some sort of…metaphor? Want to Read saving…. Updike does occasionally veer off course leaving the reader in the middle of the road looking in all directions for the smoke plumes of the car crash.

When we make love sometimes you sigh my name and I feel radically confirmed. They had fallen in love with The Centaur. Chiron educated the children of the gods and goddesses so he is an apt mythological creature for George Caldwell to identify with.

Does anyone really care whether middle-class white men experience heartache and disappointment? Feb 02, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: Beyond the jpdike mullions and the curtains of dotted Swiss pinned back with metal flowers painted white, the sky was undiluted blue.

Ypdike in description, dialogue or action, every word contributes to creating his tale.

The Centaur

Similarly, the novel’s image of Peter’s mother alone on an unfarmed farm, her dream home and refuge from her youth, is one we later see in Updike’s novel Of the Farm.


Classical mythology was second nature to me. Dec 31, Kent Winward rated it liked it. The son is a typical teenager, somewhat embarrassed by and for his father, and never feeling like he centahr gets the attention he feels he updiie. Prometheus had screwed up and given them fire, which they weren’t supposed to have.

Updike weaves both lives seamlessly which demonstrates his deftness with prose.

Jul 06, Judy rated it really liked it Shelves: She extorts him to help her. The novel’s structure is unusual; the narrative shifts from present day late s to prospective early sfrom describing the characters as George, Vera, and the rest, to the Centaur, Venus, and so forth.

The Hohn, published in won the U. The Arcadian sun was growing warmer. Tons of easy sentimentality and very little real drama. With its one-to-one correspondences between characters and their classical-pantheon counterparts, The Centaur can read a bit like Joyce For Dummies. The Chiron of Updike’s story is George Caldwell, a middle-aged high-school teacher in small-town Pennsylvania.

George is essentially a decent bloke, who is struggling to stay on top of his life and work. Updiek also sees how in daily life there exists perseverence and sacrifice and exhaustion even to the point of death. I’m so glad I did. Portions of the novel first appeared in Esquire and The New Yorker. Jan 20, Karen rated it really liked it Recommends it for: The present, s, shows George and his son trapped in an unknown town during a blizzard because their car broke down.

Not once was I bored with this novel.