Friday, November 27, 2009
Electric Politics: "Podcast interview w/ Michael Sims re Archy and Mehitabel" - George Kenney
It's something to be thankful for: the American literary tradition. And one of the greats -- not entirely outside the mainstream but not quite in it either -- is the creation by Don Marquis, in his newspaper columns of almost a century ago, of Archy and Mehitabel. Archy, the vers-libre poet reincarnated as a cockroach who leaves missives on Marquis' office typewriter (achieved by leaping from the top of the machine head first down onto the keys; a classic metaphor for the writer's art), Mehitabel, her story told by Archy, the scrappy alley cat who claims to be the reincarnation of Cleopatra.
Michael Sims has put together a marvelous collection, ordered by their original publication date, of Marquis columns featuring Archy and Mehitabel, together with Sims' own annotations. So, an expert. He's also an internationally acclaimed author in his own right, and has edited several other unusual collections for Penguin.
It was a great pleasure to hear from Michael on things cultural, despite my abysmal general literary knowledge. I hope you enjoy the show, and the Marquis opus, as well.
As always, please don't hesitate to redistribute the link.
PS Please send in comments on this show if you can -- Michael tells me that Penguin very highly values alternative media interest and your comments would help them to publish more of these sorts of works.