The Centaur, John Updike’s third novel, won for him his first National Book Award. Its story is of George Caldwell, a science teacher in a small Pennsylvania town, and his fifteen-year-old son, Peter. Updike’s own father was a teacher in the high school in Shillington, Pennsylvania, and the book was in part intended to be a tribute to his father. In January of 1947, George fears he may have cancer and goes after school for X rays. He and Peter then drive to a swim meet in a nearby town; their 1936 Buick breaks down, forcing them to spend the night.
The Centaur is a modern retelling of the legend of Chiron, the noblest and wisest of the centaurs, who, painfully wounded yet unable to die, gave up his immortality on behalf of Prometheus. In the retelling, Olympus becomes small-town Olinger High School; Chiron is George Caldwell, a science teacher there; and Prometheus is Caldwell's fifteen-year-old son, Peter.
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The Centaur is a novel by John Updike, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1963. National Book Award for Fiction. Portions of the novel first appeared in Esquire and The New Yorker. The French translation of the novel won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize). The story concerns George Caldwell, a school teacher, and his son Peter, outside of Alton (. Reading), Pennsylvania
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The Centaur is a magical book that takes you on many twists and turns as the characters slowly develop. One must be warned that this book needs some prior knowledge in Greek mythology, of which I have none. The types of relationships in this book discussed are between a father and a son. The storyline can be hazy, especially in this bizarre story of a man stuck with his teenage son in a snow storm intertwined with a noble centaur. Analysis of-should wizard hit mommy by john updike? this story implies a thin line of demarcation between a child's world and the world of adults. the parents want a child to go by the book but a child will always want to establish his or her identity by being different. also a strong craving to be accepted by one's peers is clearly indicated.
John Updike won the 1964 National Book Award for his third novel, The Centaur. The strangely compelling mixture of contemporary 1947 Pennsylvania and ancient Greek mythological figures like Chiron, Prometheus, Venus and Zeus enticed some critics completely into accepting Updike into the ranks of the America’s serious writers. The book also left a minority still questioning whether Updike was truly young, gifted, and profound or merely too clever by half. The ensuing decades made the reception given to The Centaur something akin to a microcosm of Updike’s entire career
Centaur is a book where for the first time, in English literature – originated reception semantic complexity. 1 This novel has a two-dimensional structure: the common level and the mythological level. But mythological plots and characters are not just borrowed by writer, but he also creatively reworked them. The main theme of Centaur is impoverishment and degeneration of public and private life
The Centaur is John Updike's third novel, it won the National Book Award in 1964, and is a loose retelling of the Greek myth of Chiron, noblest of all Centaurs. George Caldwell is Chiron. It is 1947 and George is unhappily though gratefully employed as a high school teacher in the small Pennsylvania town where some of Updike's novels are set. The story takes place over a few winter days in the life of George, his wife a I thought I was done with Greece for a while but it turned out, not exactly. Since reading the biography of John Updike, "Updike By Adam Begley", earlier in the month, this was a gap in the writer's work that I had not read. Reading it now, I can appreciate the obvious biographical nature of the novel. Names of places and characters have been changed, but, there is no doubting that this is Updike writing of his own family.
The Centaur is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Published in the United States by Random House Trade Paperbacks, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, In. New York.