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. His father was a teacher. Last, one sees how the intensity of the relationship can reappear at any time, perhaps all times, in later life through memory and reflection.

Maybe it worked better back in the day, but the story seventy years in the past didn’t seem to have the same universality as the mythology upon which it was loosely based.

This quote is from Bibliotheca 2. He uses his own experiences create round characters and give the reader a fulfilling experience within his novel. I am wondering if one reads Updike on two levels. Use them to teach the students close reading and expository writing. Such an amazing book, but the perfect resemblence of the father in this book to my own dad was excruciating Another character, the mechanic, is compared to Vulcan.

He battles daily with the odious, student centaurr, Supervising Principal Zimmerman, who besides caressing female students also tortures George with obtuse evaluations of his teaching style. After one of these thwarted attempts, they end up spending the night in the Hummel house.

I’m so glad I did. I preferred playing drums in my bedroom, or watching SNL.


The Centaur by John Updike Chapters 1 – 3. I identified with both characters. Could be I just thumbed through and wrote down all the names of the gods, then looked them up in the encyclopedia so I could make some kind of diagram about how their relationships fit t I read The Centaur in my senior year of high school.

George Caldwell is Chiron. Anyway, what’s most special about The Centaur isn’t its allusiveness or structure but the book’s lyrical realism, the passages in which Updike fulfills his career ambition and by the age ipdike thirty-one “to give the mundane its beautiful due.

The Centaur – Wikipedia

View all 3 comments. Updike weaves both lives seamlessly which demonstrates his deftness with prose.

To ask other readers questions about The Centaurplease sign up. Chiron’s loss of immortality gave birth to the technology humans would eventually use to rival the gods. All this, mixed with the marvelous and immensely enjoyable prose, make The Centaur a, greater book. The autocratic headmaster Zimmerman is Zeus updlke has some of Zeus’s sexual mores toobut Updike keeps the mythological ties quite understated most of the time. There isn’t much mythology in it, except in bookend chapters that take us in and out.

View all 31 comments. Even he might ths it was all downhill from here. Alone with his teenage son for three days in a blizzard, Caldwell sees his thw grow and change as he himself begins to lost touch with his life. Caldwell’s son, Peter, narrates its realistic chapters in retrospect, from the p.

The Centaur by John Updike

Every child, in order to be ready to reside in the vast world, must be educated and there is no better educator than the centaur Chiron: He taught me to experiment with the ways I write; although I tend to disagree with his point of view. The question that plagues George is the one that eventually plagues most of us To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.


Your solemn mouth has relaxed in sleep and the upper lip displays the little extra racial button of fat like a bruise blister. Feb 02, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: John Updike is able to show off his knowledge of mythological creatures as Caldwell morphs into Chiron, and she of course becomes Venus. 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.

Some other immortal would have to pay the price. The character of Peter is similar to Updike himself; both had schoolteacher fathers, lived in rural Pennsylvania, were passionate about painting, and suffered from psoriasis. Updike seems to have done his homework and knows his Greek stories.

The Centaur

But once I got used to The Centaur’s hybrid structure, I found it fascinating. It seemed like a good fit. He dreams of migrating to Florida. Updike captures angst like no other author. Looking at upsike streak of black, I relived the very swipe of my palette knife, one second of my life that in a remarkable way had held firm.