June's Book: The Tragedy of Arthur, by Arthur Phillips

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We kicked off our book club with the novel The Tragedy of Arthur, by Arthur Phillips. On June 16 in the Greene Space, Leonard moderated a discussion with Arthur Philips, and people in the audience were able to ask their questions about the book. Watch the video below starting 40 minutes in. 

The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips tells the story of the doomed hero named Arthur Phillips, a young man whose con artists father has been an unreliable parent but whose love of William Shakespeare has inspired Arthur to become a writer. When his father shares with Arthur a treasure he’s kept secret for 50 years—a previously unknown play by Shakespeare, titled The Tragedy of Arthur—Arthur and his sister take up the mission to see the play published and acknowledged. But could it be their father’s last great con? The Tragedy of Arthur explores the tension between storytelling and truth-telling, the quest for originality in our lives, and the act of literary mythmaking.


Arthur Phillips

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Comments [6]


I am reading Arthur Phillips Prague right now and was struck by the similarity in the nostalgia discussion between Mark and John and the theme of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. In fact, got to this site by googling whether Allen was familiar with Phillip's novel. Interesting.

Mar. 05 2012 08:52 PM

I love how Shakespeare is interwoven in the text of the novel.

Will the play be performed at the Guthrie, Delacorte, The Globe, The Swan, or The Royal Shakespeare Theatre?


Jun. 14 2011 01:28 PM
Peter Feldman from New York City. But maybe not in the audience. But maybe.

The Tragedy of Arthur is a wonderful book by a terrific writer, and led me to read Prague(Phillip's first novel) soon after finishing it.
As Arthur is concerned with matters of originality, influence, inspiration and downright theft, and because while I was reading Prague I happened to see the new Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris, I was struck by the similarity between the main "point" of the Allen film- that people who yearn for more "authentic" times, when things seemed better, perhaps would not feel the same way if they knew that those times gone by were just as inauthentic as the present, and that people then, too, were nostalgic for some past era-
and one of the conclusions arrived at by the character Mark in Prague, whose research about nostalgia yields a similar insight.
As a matter of fact, both discuss the idea of artists hanging out at cafe's, and why that tradition developed.
I was wondering if Mr. Phillips was aware of the parallel, and if he thinks Woody might have (almost)literally taken a page, or two, from his book.

Jun. 13 2011 09:50 AM

Arthur Phillips are you a twin?

Jun. 11 2011 11:28 AM

Can I attend the book club discussion without purchasing the ticket for the improv performance?

Jun. 07 2011 10:27 AM
vickmickunas from Ohio

Lovely idea!

Jun. 01 2011 11:38 AM

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