کتاب سنتائور

اثر جان آپدایک از انتشارات مروارید - مترجم: سهیل سمی-پرافتخارترین کتاب ها

رمان سنتائور در سال 1963 در آمریکا به چاپ رسید و بلافاصله مورد توجه منتقدان ادبی قرار گرفت. یک سال بعد، جایزه‌ی ادبی «نشنال بوک اوارد» آمریکا را به خود اختصاص داد و سال بعد صاحب جایزه‌ی بهترین رمان خارجی در فرانسه شد. از آن پس کمتر سالی بوده که رمان سنتائور تجدید چاپ نشود.
سنتائور از یک سو بُعدی اساطیری دارد و از سوی دیگر، زندگی معاصر طبقه‌ی متوسط آمریکا را به زیبایی تحلیل می‌کند. کمتر رمانی است که رابطه‌ی پدر و پسر در آن تا این حد زیبا و موجز تصویر شده باشد. این رمان روایت‌گر عشق پسری است به پدرش، پدری که همچون شیرون فرزانه با روح ساده و افکار بغرنجش ناخودآگاه طالب مرگ است.


خرید کتاب سنتائور
جستجوی کتاب سنتائور در گودریدز

معرفی کتاب سنتائور از نگاه کاربران
I read The Centaur in my senior year of high school. Rereading it now, I realize either that I cheated and didnt actually read it before I wrote the book report - or Im just getting so old that I dont remember it at all. My book report was on its parallels with Greek mythology, which are numerous and complex. 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 together. Im sure I got an A on the report. Did Ms. Kaiser suspect Id faked it?

Except the mythology doesnt have all that much to do with the story.

The central metaphor is that Chiron, the noblest of all the centaurs, took pity on humankind. Prometheus had screwed up and given them fire, which they werent supposed to have. And even though Zeus punished Prometheus, apparently that wasnt enough. Some other immortal would have to pay the price. So Chiron took a poisoned arrow, which not only made him lame but also proved to be fatal. Chirons loss of immortality gave birth to the technology humans would eventually use to rival the gods.

The Chiron of Updikes story is George Caldwell, a middle-aged high-school teacher in small-town Pennsylvania. Although Caldwell would seem to be the main character, a lot of the narration is by his teenaged son Peter. The lad loves his father but wishes the old man had a higher opinion of himself. George thinks hes a loser, even though he seems to be beloved by most of his students, even the ones who mock him mercilessly.

The father-son relationship is the core of the book. Mother Cassie isnt much of a character at all, unless you sense the compassion between the lines. There isnt much mythology in it, except in bookend chapters that take us in and out. Updike seems to have done his homework and knows his Greek stories. But how those intertwine with the Caldwell family saga is obscure.

Updikes legacy has been his Rabbit books, much like Roths Zuckerman series (Updike came first). I sampled both, wasnt drawn to either. Too cynical, too bitter. Does anyone really care whether middle-class white men experience heartache and disappointment? (Sarcastic, rhetorical question. Please go ahead and comment.)

I havent read them all, but I suspect The Centaur might be John Updikes best book. Even he might admit it was all downhill from here.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Очень непросто.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This book is sadly underrated among Updikes oeuvre. I think its his best literary accomplishment. The Centaur is both a distorted, modernized retelling of the myth of Chiron and a moving story of a father and son. The prose is dense and rich, heavy with classical illusion; this isnt the easiest read, but its worth the work. Updikes erudition and his gorgeous way with a sentence are on display here to a degree unmatched by any of his other work.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
An interesting novel which finds meaning in the mundane of everyday life; concerning George Caldwell and his son Peter, a boy in his mid teens. There are strong autobiographical elements. It is set in rural Pennsylvania, where Updike grew up. Updikes father was a schollteacher and like Peter in the book, Updike had psoriasis and loved art. Woven into all this is Greek mythology; hence the title. George is the centaur Chiron and all the other characters are have their mythological equivalents. The autocratic headmaster Zimmerman is Zeus (and has some of Zeuss sexual mores too), but Updike keeps the mythological ties quite understated most of the time.
The real strength of the novel is its analysis of the father/son relationship and how it changes during the teenage years. George is essentially a decent bloke, who is struggling to stay on top of his life and work. He believes he may be dying and feels he is a failure as a teacher and a father. The novel spans three or so days when George and Peter and prevented from returning to their rural home and have to stay in town.
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! (I think most of us have been there). The mythological links here become a little tenuous. Chiron is immortal and gives up his mortality to save Prometheus; Peter can be seen as Prometheus, but other critics have argued George is both Chiron and Prometheus and I think this is more likely. The move in the novel is from the idealised immortal father to the mortal embarrassing one and there are some very typical father/teenage son exchanges.
I know Updike has been accused of sexism and of concentrating on marraige and infidelity, but in this book the focus is on men: sons and fathers and Updike does this rather well because it made me think about my relationship with my father.
The writing is accomplished and the description beautiful at times. All in all an enjoyable read.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Updike certainly has a unique prose style that is enjoyable. The father/son interchange fell flat, in part it felt because of the attempt to tie the story into a broader mythological realm. Maybe it worked better back in the day, but the story seventy years in the past didnt seem to have the same universality as the mythology upon which it was loosely based.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
کتاب های مرتبط با - کتاب سنتائور


 کتاب بادبادک باز
 کتاب جوخه زمان
 کتاب بل کانتو
 کتاب شگفتی
 کتاب آقای پیپ
 کتاب تالار گرگ