By John Updike
During this antic riff on Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, the Reverend Tom Marshfield, a latter-day Arthur Dimmesdale, is distributed west from his Midwestern parish in sexual shame. At a barren region retreat devoted to relaxation, game, and religious renewal, this fortyish serial fornicator is needed to maintain a magazine whose thirty-one weekly entries represent the booklet you presently carry on your hand. In his splendidly overwrought variety he lays naked his soul and his past--his marriage to the daughter of his ethics professor, his affair together with his organist, his antipathetic conversations along with his senile father and his bisexual curate, his golfing rankings, his poker arms, his Biblical exegeses, and his smoldering hope for the directress of the retreat, the impregnable Ms. Prynne. A testomony for our times.
From the alternate Paperback edition.
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Extra resources for A Month of Sundays: A Novel
D. " often indirect and perhaps not even consciously acknowledged. At times it is even difficult to distinguish Stoicism sharply from Neoplatonism and Aristotelianism, since, like much of Renaissance humanism, Stoicism was eclectic and heterogeneous. I do not explain the rapport between Ariosto's Furioso and Stocient sources icism through passive source study, but through careful analysis of the formal and philosophical affinites between the poem and Stoic This comparison will yield observations concerning the whole — not merely on texts.
Philosophic outlook of the Furioso. 57 William J. Bouwsma, "The Two Faces of Humanism: Stoicism and Augustinianism in Renaissance Thought," in Itinerarium Italicum: The Profile of the Italian Renaissance in the Mirror of Its European Transformations, ed. Heiko Thomas A. Brady, Jr. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1975), 5. " 1 The structure of the Furioso the concerns of contemporary theory, particularly the concern with fragmentation. Each of the poem's parts has harmony the impossible to recap- It is of the whole.
Impossible, to determine if It would be difficult, if not one representational system was the prima- ry influence on the others. All these structures, in so far as they are analogous to one another, tend to reinforce each other's meaning. The embodiment of Stoic cosmological principles in poetry, ethics, art, and Lanciano, 1914); Niccolò Machiavelli, Principe e Discorsi sopra la prima deca di 77 Tito Livio, ed. Sergio Bertelli (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1983). 3 Fernand Hallyn, The Poetic Structure of the World, trans.
A Month of Sundays: A Novel by John Updike