Because I Love Me Some Remy Charlip Books…

h1 January 6th, 2011 by jules

A fly-by post today in the category of Here’s Another Straggler from 2010 I Want to Mention, I bring you the 2010 re-print of Remy Charlip’s Arm in Arm: A Collection of Connections, Endless Tales, Reiterations, and Other Echolalia. Originally published in 1969, it was re-printed in 1997, and last September saw another iteration of the book (paperback from Tricycle Press).

You know you’re gonna love a book with a sub-title like that. The New York Times praised this one decades ago, when it first arrived in the world, for its “verbal and visual witticisms…as joyfully illustrated as it is absurd.” What you have here, for those who aren’t already familiar with it, is concrete (and circular) poetry (not to mention songs), puns, absurdity, anything-goes philosophical ponderings, a page with no pictures, some dialogue and a bit of theatre, lots of cats, an octopuss, a play of manners, some optical illusions of a sort, altogether illogical delights, and general ridiculousness from the great artist, writer, dancer, teacher, theater director, and choreographer Remy Charlip.

In other words, those expecting a narrative thread of any sort or actual dramatic action will be disappointed. This is a surreal romp through Remy’s creative mind. And that’s about it. And it’s fun.



(Click to enlarge spread.)

I still remember this post from 2007 on Remy’s talents (the post, in fact, mentions this book) from the one and only David Elzey: “{Remy’s books} endure,” David wrote, “because they reach into a vast well of understatement that promotes and celebrates the power and beauty of a child-like imagination. They bare the unmistakable mark of a poet choreographer whose fondness for sharing his exuberance with children was evident in all he did.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Happy to see this re-print. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it. Until next time…

* * * * * * *

ARM IN ARM: A COLLECTION OF CONNECTIONS, ENDLESS TALES, REITERATIONS, AND OTHER ECHOLALIA. Copyright © 1969 Remy Charlip. Reproduced by permission of the publisher (for the 2010 re-print), Tricycle Press, Berkeley, CA.

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8 comments to “Because I Love Me Some Remy Charlip Books…”

  1. […] Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast » Blog Archive » Because I Love Me Some Remy Charlip Book… blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=2059 – view page – cached A fly-by post today in the category of Here’s Another Straggler from 2010 I Want to Mention, I bring you the 2010 re-print of Remy Charlip’s Arm in Arm: A Collection of Connections, Endless Tales, Reiterations, and Other Echolalia. Originally published in 1969, it was re-printed in 1997, and last September saw another iteration of the book (paperback from Tricycle Press). […]


  2. One of my all-time favorite books…


  3. thanks for the mention, and for dipping into remy’s work.

    i understand tricycle press is shutting down some time this year and i trust and hope it will be folded into either crown or random house (its parent and grandparent divisions) and the books will remain in print.


  4. David, they’re already under Random House. At least, that’s my understanding.


  5. I should stop by more often on your blog. There is so much good stuff. I saw your post and I had to share an amazing thing that happened to me last week when my family celebrated Remy Charlip’s birthday. My daughter and I loved reading his book Mother, Mother…. We noticed at the back of the book that Remy thought it would be great as a shadow play. My daughter and I made the play and posted a video on my blog. Here comes the amazing part, Check out the comment left on my blog:
    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5149227017826855772&postID=4163136046307949954

    I hope you enjoy. I cried.


  6. Eric: WHOA! Very cool!


  7. My very favorite childhood book! So happy somebody besides me still remembers it.


  8. I love this and it’s lovely to read about it. My favorite:
    SORR OW
    PILL OW
    WIND OW
    RAINB OW


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