Vintage Centaur review is anything but kind

In a review of The Centaur published in the February 1, 1963 issue of The New York Review of Books, now online, Jonathan Miller takes Updike to task for “a poor novel irritatingly marred by good features.”

Such as?

“Updike’s didactic allegory suffers by contrast with the delicacy with which Joyce uses the myth of Daedalus. . . . Updike’s quotations, his pretentious index, and interpolated episodes of mythical narrative simply provide an irritating distraction.”

One has to wonder what Miller’s reaction was when The Centaur was awarded the National Book Award. And John Updike Society members who listened to Adam Sexton gush¬†about how his students at the Parsons School of Design really respond to The Centaur will wonder if Miller read the same book.

Here’s the whole review: ¬†“Off-Centaur.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *