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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Although Caldwell would seem to be the main character, a lot of the narration is by his teenaged son Peter. There is an index in the back of the book telling you which gods are mentioned, but kind of wish they told you who’s who.

Kaiser suspect I’d faked it? As the pendulum of time continues to duck walk me onward with my heels dragging and my hands grasping for purchase on anything to slow the motion forward, I too ask that question. Jul 06, Judy rated it really liked it Shelves: This masculine desire for escape appears in Updike’s famed “Rabbit” novels.

Even he might admit it was all downhill from here. Chiron inhaled; air like honey expanded the spaces of his chest; his students completed the centaur. Vera truly becomes a magical goddess dispensing orange juice and bananas upon him like ambrosia. I picked ths book up at the library kohn an artist residency in Port Townsend, and ended up quite taken with it.

The writing is accomplished and the description beautiful at times. I have to agree with the reviewer who said, “until the second chapter, I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish this book. Want to Read saving…. More age-appropriate, and considerably less fusty, was D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Mythscharmingly illustrated throughout in charcoal and pastels. Will they start the climb back to the priesthood?

What was I thinking? Peter, meanwhile, is bright, a thinker and a budding aesthete who idolizes Vermeer and dreams of becoming a painter in a big city, like New York.


The thought of fulfillment is just depressing. The language used within this novel is exquisite.

The Centaur

Books by John Updike. Your sleep contains innocence as the night contains dew. Updike’s legacy has been his Rabbit books, much like Roth’s Zuckerman series Updike came first. I do not think this mixture was successful.

Interwoven with the myth of Chiron, the noblest centaur, and his own relationship to Prometheus, The Centaur is one of John Updike’s most brilliant and unusual novels.

The Centaur by John Updike

Sep 05, Lawrence rated it really liked it. 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 cehtaur 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 ceentaur read the Updike novel of his choosing.

Last, one sees how the intensity of the relationship can reappear at any time, perhaps all times, in later life through memory and reflection. My knowledge of these figures is simply too limited for me to make sense of these passages.

Which I also did. And even though Zeus punished Prometheus, apparently that wasn’t enough. His students came nowhere near the calibre of Achilles, etc.

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

Peter is a student at the same high school his father teaches at. The perspective in this novel switches often. All in all an enjoyable read. Most books at least make some kind of internal sense within my brain. Some of the parallels seem ham-handed, but others are subtle, obscure, or just plain clever. In the back row of the classroom, Zimmerman molests Iris Osgood Io—get it? This parallels to George giving uprike his life for his son. This book tells the story of three days in the lives of a man and his son, living in rural Pennsylvania in the early 50s.


As a Centaur he was immortal but, longing for death, he traded his immortality as atonement for Prometheus, who defied the gods by stealing fire and jobn it to mankind. Just be ready for a bit of a mind-shift as you read, since mythological characters blend into the real world tbe this book. I wanted my students to feel loved too. I’m moving on to the Rabbit series.

The Centaur – Wikipedia

One thing George and Peter share is the desire to get out, to escape their hometown. We should achieve I think, but maybe not achieve too much. On another level is meaning and structure. Nov 15, Lauren Davidson rated it really liked it.

Mother Cassie isn’t much of a character at all, unless you sense the compassion between the lines. 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.

Tons of easy sentimentality and very little real drama. I think it is all really highly artificial, including the distracting, and rather pedantic, index at the end. 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.

I know Updike has been accused of sexism and of concentrating on marraige and infidelity, but in this book the focus is on men: Peter suffers from psoriasis, which itches badly and eats at his self-esteem like…well, like an eagle gnawing on someone’s liver.