Archy and Mehitabel

Archy and Mehitabel

by Don Marquis


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This beloved illustrated classic tells the tale of Archy, a philosophical cockroach, and Mehitabel, a cat in her ninth life. 

Generations of readers have delighted in the work of the great American humorist Don Marquis. Marquis's satirical free-verse poems, which first appeared in his New York newspaper columns in 1916, revolve around the escapades of Archy, a philosophical cockroach who was a poet in a previous life, and Mehitabel, a streetwise alley cat who was once Cleopatra. Reincarnated as the lowest creatures on the social scale, they prowl the rowdy streets of New York City in between the world wars, and Archy records their experiences and observations on the boss's typewriter late at night. First published in 1927, Archy and Mehitabel has become a celebrated part of the twentieth-century American literary canon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385094788
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1987
Series: Anchor Literary Library
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 166,105
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Don Marquis (1878–1937) was a journalist and columnist in New York City and the author of several novels, short-story collections, and plays.

Customer Reviews

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Archy and Mehitabel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We read 'The Lesson of The Moth' in English class, and I fell in love immediately. I did some research and took this out of the library. It is a great collection of poems written by archy the cockroach who paintstakingly jumps on the keys of a typewriter to express his 'poet' from his life before. Mehibatel is his cat friend who was Cleopatra in her past life, and they live in a newspaper office. This follows their lives and adventures which each have a kind of proverb or moral to them. It i very interesting. Unlike the first review, I think that the deciphering of run-on sentences with no puctuation (archy cant do capital letters or punctation not being able to jump on two keys simultaneously) is kind of fun. You have to think about what archy means more and I really get a sense of who is talking that way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book exemplifies some of the attitudes of the period in which it was written (1916) which makes it delightful. The back my edition of this book gives a sample of the text (all lower case): the main question is whether the stuff is literature or not. The added comment reads, 'It is.' It's hard to say why, especially because the book does not have a very large following, but it is extremely unique with out trying to be unique. Obviously the premise is out of the ordinary and perhaps far fetched, but it never ceases to be real. I awarded this book 4 stars and not five because some of the prose is hard to decipher. The language is clear, the meaning is very obscured, sometimes to the point of indecipheriblity. But on the whole it is well worth the hour or so it takes to read. *Be aware that although the book is humourous, it may not be found funny in a comical sense. It's all a part of the uniqueness.
Devil_llama on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A delightfully quirky little book about a cockroach with the soul of a poet - literally, since the poet was reincarnated as a cockroach and now writes his poetry by hopping on the keys of a typewriter. Mehitabel is his friend and tormenter, a ditzy cat who enjoys life perhaps a bit more than our poet can approve of. It's a delightful fantasy for adults.
ifjuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i keep my little copy of this in my purse so i can always have something to smile about if i get stuck in a line waiting for something. little did i know until after i started it that the incomparable george herriman did the illustrations. it all makes sense, ha. toujours gai!
labbit440 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully odd and quirky free verse poetry written by a cockroach. I really enjoyed this book. Sometime the Archy and Mehitabel poems can be found online. I especially enjoy "The Lesson of the Moth."
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A collection of poetry, ostensibly found by Don Marquis. Archy the cockrach typed out the poems, one per night, by hopping from key to key. Mehitabel, the cat, is Archy's friend. Toujours gai, mon ami!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very funny, very old collection of verses about a mouse and a cat who have a lot to say about the state of the world and life in general. It's a quick read and you'll like the breeziness of the humor.