Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Marquis, Don

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(1878-1937) US journalist, poet and writer who began his career as a columnist for Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus Magazine, and who by 1912 had established himself as a newspaper columnist in New York. He remains famous for his archy and mehitabel sequence of Beast Fables in verse form, starring the Cat mehitabel and told by archy, a cockroach possessed by the soul of a dead poet, who types his narrative poems by jumping from key to key of a typewriter (hence the lack of capital letters). The sequence began in the Herald Tribune in 1916, and was assembled as archy and mehitabel (coll 1927), archy's life of mehitabel (coll 1933) and archy does his part (coll 1935); the last two volumes were illustrated by George Herriman, and all three were assembled as The Lives and Times of archy and mehitabel (omni 1940). Individual episodes incorporate topical Satire, reports from mehitabel's cat-life, jokes, aphorisms, Parody and moments of existential melancholy. Most are set in New York, with an interval in Los Angeles. Other poems of fantasy interest appeared in Noah an' Jonah an' Cap'n Smith: A Book of Humorous Verse (coll 1921), the title work being an Afterlife fantasy. [JC]

Donald Robert Perry Marquis


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.