R  A  L  P H
  The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities

Volume XXVI, Number 2

Late Summer 2001

 
NEW LISTINGS
FDR's Enemies,
The Music Room,
and
Frank Lloyd Wright's Glass


REVIEWS

Being Dead
"The author seems to have a strange fascination with body goo.
He comes back again and again, during the course of the narrative,
to report on new slimy creatures supping down on poor old Celice and Joseph.
He gives constant updates on how their bodies are faring
in the full blast of the sun, and the many beesties
noshing down on an unexpectedly rich banquet."


A Passion to Win
Part I.
"I grew up in a tenement in the West End,
he tells us. We didn't have a bathroom
in our apartment.
Well, maybe. Or maybe it was hidden
behind the servant's quarters. Boston Magazine
tells us that, during Redstone's youth, his father
had a trucking fleet that won lucrative carting contracts with the city.
There may have been no flowing water in the apartment,
but there was plenty of cash flow."
Part II.
"To do what Redstone has done is astonishing.
He has not only driven himself and everyone around him
relentlessly, he has also had to bet the whole farm
to match his vision."


Now Let Us Praise Famous Men
"Let us now praise famous men
and our fathers that begat us.

The quotation is from Sirach, one of the Apocrypha
of the Old Testament. The irony of the words
is obvious and biting, for Agee is describing, minutely,
the least famous, the poorest of the poor, the men
(and women, and children) who lived in and around
central Alabama in the middle of the depression."


Great Reviews of the Past
A City of Fleas
"To our knowledge, no one has studied
the structure of a Tijuana to figure out
why it is so successful. We see the buses
going up and down hills, spewing diesel exhaust,
and we think, in our holy cleanliness, pollution.
What we don't see is a marvelously efficient
public transportation system that, for two pesos,
moves people to wherever they want to go."


BRIEF REVIEWS
Ping-Pong,
My Blue Dress,and
The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema


RALPH's Top Pop Hits
Twelve of our most popular
book reviews, essays and readings
from over the years --- being those
that have received the most number of hits
in the last fortnight.


ARTICLES
She Was Only an Optician's Daughter, But...
"Because of this fear, we create a series of barriers.
Loud sounds (loud voices, loud music, loud cars, loud laughter).
Too, something outside ourselves ---
booze, non-invasive friends, fast-moving cars ---
to speak to us, or rather for us."
...Two Glasses and She Made a Spectacle of Herself
"A voice leaned
out of the night to whisper secrets to me,
speaking around the rose-glow of a dozen tubes and
the whisker-thin coiling wires arched around
the paper cone connected to the tympani in my own head
through anvil and hammer some 1200 miles away
and I would know and understand a schemata
being transmitted by black magic."


READINGS
The Alphabet begins with "S"

"Why did they take our teacher?
He was constantly nervous and looked out the window frequently.
He would say Ah, children, children, and shake his head.
He was always serious and seemed very sad.
He was good to us, and if a student stammered while reading Stalin,
he didn't shout, and even smiled a little."

Ask No Questions
"How many of them
(or their families, acquaintances, and so on)
went to the camps because during a meeting, or even in
private conversation, they asked about this or that?
How many in so doing ruined their careers?
How many lost their jobs?
How many lost their lives?"


POETRY
Nursing Babies
"That I loved nursing.
That I nursed each baby
Whether they were hungry or not.
That they were always hungry.
That milk flowed like tears.
That my blouses were always damp."

Memory of France
"We played cards, I lost the iris of my eyes;
You loaned me your hair, I lost it, he struck us down.
He left by the door, the rain followed him out.
We were dead and were able to breathe."


LETTERS
Lolita Lark, and Father Divine, and National Private Radio
"Public radio is sadly lacking in both
guts and integrity, but it has nothing to do with testicles
(or their lack thereof). Come on, it's the 21st century for crissake.
Time to give the patriarchal metaphors a rest.
R.I.P."


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


HELP
Perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
Subscribe, and get a free copy of one of the newest titles from
Mho & Mho Works
along with a print-out of some of our most pithy reviews, in
The Folio


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Titles, authors, and publishers
of all books reviewed in RALPH ---
arranged chronologically.


THE PREVIOUS RALPH
This will lead you to our last issue ---
and, from there, back to the previous sixty-five or so,
to our earliest which appeared during
the cold wet winter of 1994-1995.

T H E  F A C T S
Submitting Books

The best way to get books to RALPH for review.
Submitting Reviews

Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
History

RALPH didn't spring full-blown from the brows of the gods:
     We've been around (in different guises) for over twenty-five years.     
The Fessenden Fund
Other activities of RALPH's godparents, including
Mho & Mho Works

Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 7272, San Diego CA 92167
poo@cts.com


Go to the newest RALPH     Go to the next RALPH