Archyology: The Long Lost Tales of Archy and Mehitabel
"Archy and his racy pal Mehitabel are timeless," noted E. B. White in his essay on Don Marquis and his famous creations, and the undimmed enthusiasm of several generations of fans -- who every year buy thousands of copies of Marquis' earlier collections -- testifies to their appeal. A whimsical and sophisticated sage, archy the cockroach entertained readers with iconoclastic observations on pretensions, politics, and our place in the cosmos during Marquis' career as a New York newspaper columnist in the 1920s and 30s.
Allegedly tapping out stories at night by leaping from key to key on Marquis' typewriter, archy couldn't quite manage the shift key for capital letters. Although his tales appeared in lower case, his views achieved a level grand enough to solidify Marquis' reputation as an American humorist in the tradition of Mark Twain, Joel Chandler Harris, and Ring Lardner. archyology brings together selected "lost" tales that were literally rescued from oblivion by Jeff Adams, who found them among papers stored in a steamer trunk since Marquis' death.
And so archy emerges from his long silence. Whether reporting on characters like emmet the ghost, sailing to Paris to visit the insects of Europe, being trapped for days in a New York subway train, or hanging out in a Long Island orchard enjoying fermented cherries, archy is always both provocative and inimitable. With illustrations by Ed Frascino, a New Yorker regular, this collection reintroduces a delightful cast of characters who reconfirm archy's view of the world: "the only way to live with it is to laugh at it."
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