The Best of Archy and Mehitabel
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
List Price: $13.50*
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A selection of the best of the hilarious free-verse poems by the irreverent cockroach poet Archy and his alley-cat pal Mehitabel.
Don Marquis’s famous fictional insect appeared in his newspaper columns from 1916 into the 1930s, and he has delighted generations of readers ever since. A poet in a former life, Archy was reincarnated as a bug who expresses himself by diving headfirst onto a typewriter. His sidekick Mehitabel is a streetwise feline who claims to have been Cleopatra in a previous life. As E. B. White wrote in his now-classic introduction, the Archy poems “contain cosmic reverberations along with high comedy” and have “the jewel-like perfection of poetry.”
Adorned with George Herriman’s whimsical illustrations and including White’s introduction, our Pocket Poets selection—the only hardcover Archy and Mehitabel in print—is a beautiful volume, and perfectly sized for its tiny hero.
Inveterate Marquis devotee and collector JEFF ADAMS is a corporate consultant and novelist living in northern California. ED FRASCINO is a New Yorker cartoonist an illustrator of many books, including Rudyard Kipling's Elephant Child and E. B. White's Trumpet of the Swan. They previously collaborated on archyology.
George Herriman (1880-1944), the creator of Krazy Kat, was born in New Orleans and lived most of his life in Los Angeles, California. He is considered by many to be the greatest strip cartoonist of all time.
E. B. White, the author of such beloved classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, then in its infancy. He died on October 1, 1985, and was survived by his son and three grandchildren.
Mr. White's essays have appeared in Harper's magazine, and some of his other books are: One Man's Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, Letters of E. B. White, Essays of E. B. White, and Poems and Sketches of E. B. White. He won countless awards, including the 1971 National Medal for Literature and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which commended him for making a "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."
During his lifetime, many young readers asked Mr. White if his stories were true. In a letter written to be sent to his fans, he answered, "No, they are imaginary tales . . . But real life is only one kind of life there is also the life of the imagination."