My favorite Updike, “The Centaur” evokes the majesty of mythology as the author
parallels the story of Chiron, the wisest and best of the centaurs, who gives up his
immortality, after being wounded, on behalf of Prometheus. Down to earth, Updike's story
is that of a high school teacher (“Chiron”) and his teenage son (“Prometheus) and the
parallel, symbolic story grows from there. Some knowledge of Greek mythology certainly
helps in following the story line (but is not mandatory), as Updike captures the poignancy
of this sacrifice, of their relationships, of their successes and failure.
This report prepared by Bill Hobbs