The Centaur [John Updike] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD AND THE PRIX DU MEILLEUR. 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 The Centaur Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and The Centaur study guide contains a biography of John Updike, literature essays, .

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Nov 15, Lauren Davidson rated it really liked it. If you find this description of the book interesting, then just read it again instead of reading the book.

Near the end of the novel, Updike includes two untranslated Greek sentences. He feels put upon by the school’s principal, Zimmerman, and he views his students as hapless and uninterested in anything he has to teach them.

Peter, meanwhile, is a budding aesthete who idolizes Vermeer and dreams of becoming a painter in a big city, like New York. Normally I pride myself on “sophisticated” or at least marginally intelligent fiction analyses–well, in my own head, anyway, since I usually feel like I ‘get’ a book, even if I can’t or don’t try to do it justice on Goodreads.

There isn’t much mythology in it, except in bookend chapters that take us in and out. This novel probably follows the myth more closely than I was willing to work for.


I have to agree with the reviewer who udike, “until the second chapter, I wasn’t sure if I was going to cdntaur this book. Updike creates within the mindset of his reader a feeling of frustration with the father. Knopf books Novels set in Pennsylvania Novels about artists.

Here we meet Chiron, a science teacher that johb up his life. The weaving of the two stories was extremely confusing at first, the way that Updike just replaced Charion with George and slid seamlessly between the two narratives. Apr 15, Megan rated it it was ok.

The chapters alternate between George and the first person voice of his teenage son. I glance around at the nest we have made, at the floorboards polished by our bare feet, at the continents of stain on the ceiling centahr an old and all-wrong discoverer’s map, at the earnestly bloated canvases I conscientiously cover with great streaks straining to say what even I am begining to suspect is the unsayable thing, and I grow frightened.

Too cynical, too bitter. We always have to be left with something to dream about.

Even he might admit it was all downhill from here. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

The Centaur – Wikipedia

Interspersed between thf narrating the events of these days in a traditional form, were short passages in which these figures were transmuted into mythological figures.

Peter travels that inevitable journey from feeling his father is immortal and knows everything to the awful realisation that he is fallible and mortal; and even more worrying his father is also embarrassing! When you walk naked toward the bed your feet toe in as if your ankles were manacled to those of someone behind you.


When it is in the s, Peter is the narrator and describes the world surrounding him in an anxious voice. Looking at this streak of black, I centauur the very swipe of my palette knife, cenatur second of my life that in a remarkable way had held firm.

I picked ths book up at the library during an artist residency in Port Townsend, and ended up quite taken with it. He is the son of Louis Begley, the writer that best carries the Updike torch forward in jhn own writing. He prefered to live in town where he could walk everywhere he needed to be.

The Centaur

It is an immense whispering whose throat seems to be now here, now there. The narratives that we are presented with can be read as coming-of-age stories. That son has dreams of being a painter, is frustrated beyond endurance by his father, and yet tries to understand him. More age-appropriate, and considerably less fusty, was D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Mythscharmingly illustrated throughout in charcoal and pastels.

He died of lung cancer at age Also, Updike has taught me to draw from my own experiences.

Prometheus had screwed up and given them fire, which they weren’t supposed to have.