"THE TRAGEDY OF ARTHUR." By Arthur Phillips. Random. $26.
Arthur Phillips' new novel is more triumph than tragedy, a clever, funny literary deceit that skewers everything in its path -- scholars, Shakespeare lovers, anti-Stratfordians, family dynamics, the publishing world, bookish pretensions, even the author. It also slyly tackles some pointed questions about what we consider art and why, and if a rose by any other name would indeed smell as sweet. Yes. That's the sort of wonderful novel this is: It dredges up every familiar line that ever lodged itself in your consciousness.