The Centaur

The Centaur

John Updike

Language: English

Pages: 306

ISBN: 0449912167

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Centaur

John Updike

Language: English

Pages: 306

ISBN: 0449912167

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD AND THE PRIX DU MEILLEUR LIVRE ÉTRANGER
 
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. Brilliantly conflating the author’s remembered past with tales from Greek mythology, John Updike translates Chiron’s agonized search for relief into the incidents and accidents of three winter days spent in rural Pennsylvania in 1947. The result, said the judges of the National Book Award, is “a courageous and brilliant account of a conflict in gifts between an inarticulate American father and his highly articulate son.”

Cassell's Dictionary of Classical Mythology

The Mourning Emporium (Undrowned Child, Book 2)

Tales of the Greek Heroes

The Secret: A Treasure Hunt

Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m grateful,” my father said. Outside, in the gnashing, black, brilliantly alive cold, my father said to me, “See, Peter? He didn’t tell me what I want to know. They never do.” “What happened before I came?” “He put me through the mill and made an X-ray appointment at Homeopathic in Alton for six o’clock tonight.” “What does that mean?” “You never know with Doc Appleton what he means. That’s how he keeps his reputation.” “He doesn’t seem to like Zimmerman but I couldn’t make out exactly

Line, and even as a hotel bellhop and restaurant dishwasher. In 1920 he enrolled in Lake College, near Philadelphia, and, with no financial assistance save that engendered by his own efforts, succeeded in graduating with distinction in 1924, having majored in chemistry. While compiling an excellent academic record and sustaining a demanding schedule of part-time employment, he as well earned an athletic scholarship that reduced his tuition by half. For three years a guard on the Lake football

front, dumpily thick-waisted. But seen sideways her waist is strikingly small, tucked in by her doughty upright posture; she seems from her stance to be always in the act of inhaling. Her blouse wears a gold clasp shaped like an arrow. “He wasn’t,” she says, after considering once more in her life the face of the man hulking above her in the gloom of the hall, a strange knobbed face whose mystery, in relation to herself, is permanent, “his usual self.” “He’s gonna come down with a cold before

rather wistful half-Freudian half-Oriental sex-mysticism, and I wonder, Was it for this that my father gave up his life? Lying awake beside you in the rose-touched dark, I wake on a morning long ago, in Vera Hummel’s guest bedroom. Her room shone in the aftermath of the storm. My dreams had been a bent extension, like that of a stick thrust into water, of the last waking events—the final mile staggering through the unwinding storm; my father’s beating at the door of the dark house, knocking and

circulated like dirty coins in the student underworld. A woman fully grown and extended in terms of property and authority; her presence branched into every corner of the house. Her touch on the thermostat stirred the furnace under me. Her footsteps above me tripped the vacuum cleaner into a throaty, swarming hum. Here and there in the house she laughed to herself, or made a piece of furniture cry as she moved it; sounds of her flitted across the upstairs floor as a bird flits unseen and sporadic

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