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Vladimir Nabokov
Book review: 'The Tragedy of Arthur' by Arthur Phillips
Book review: 'The Tragedy of Arthur' by Arthur Phillips

The Tragedy of Arthur A Novel Arthur Phillips Random House: 368 pp., $26 First, the MacGuffin: Arthur Phillips' fifth novel, "The Tragedy of Arthur," is built around a full-length, five-act Shakespeare play, "The Most Excellent and Tragical Historie of Arthur, King of Britain," composed (or, in the conceit of the novel, "discovered") by Phillips himself. It's a bravura strategy, relying on his ability to inhabit the rhythms, "the feeling of Shakespeare … it's like a fingerprint." Although I'm not much of a Shakespearean, I'd say Phillips pulls it off. But the real triumph of this dizzyingly self-reflective novel is...

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