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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: February ::
Duncan-Jones Review of Updike *Gertrude and Claudius*
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0253  Monday, 7 February 2000.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Monday, February 07, 2000
Subject:        Duncan-Jones Review of Updike *Gertrude and Claudius*

Sunday's Washington Post Book World contained a review of John Updike's
*Gertrude and Claudius* by Katherine Duncan-Jones:

                  Sunday, February 6, 2000; Page X03

                  GERTRUDE AND CLAUDIUS

                  By John Updike

                  Knopf. 212 pp. $23

                  Reviewed by Katherine Duncan-Jones

In place of the Hamlet with whom we have all been taught to
identify-that "sweet Prince" who is a tortured intellectual of great
brilliance and charisma-John Updike has substituted a thoroughly
annoying postmodern anti-hero in his new novel, Gertrude and Claudius.
But more important, perhaps, he has used prose fiction to put stage
drama at a distance. Shakespeare's prince was a brilliantly fluid
theatrical construct; in Updike's novel the focus shifts to Hamlet's
mother, Gertrude, and to his uncle, Claudius, a solidly troubled mature
man in Updike's own Rabbit-Bech tradition.

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