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

Volume XXVII, Number 3

Late Fall 2001

 
EDITORS' PICKS
Being a selection of
the most interesting, beguiling, beautiful, or original books
that have come to us over the last
half-year or so.


NEW LISTINGS
Karl Marx,
Notes on Extinction and
The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism


REVIEWS
Gangrene and Glory
Medical Care During the American Civil War

"The portraits of the surgeons general
look like they just got out of prison (or out of bed).
Their textbooks were quite direct.
In reference to those soldiers who claimed to be sick,
they stated, In cases of doubt, it is always safest
to assume the disease as feigned, rather than real."


The Algeria Hotel
France, Memory, and the Second World War
"You could still make out,
in faded pencil, the note he had scribbled
to his wife on one of those cards before being led out to die
Goodbye my dearest, my little ones,
and all my family that I loved so much.
Call the one who is coming Charles, or Marie.
I am leaving to be shot: goodbye my love, my dear ones."


Great Reviews of the Past
A Fly for the Prosecution
"Given the grim work,
you'd suspect that this Goff would be a grim guy.
Nonsense. This is one of the merriest books
I have picked up in weeks:
We had lunch together at the Willows Restaurant
near the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
By the end of the meal we had decided that
if we could discuss maggots and decomposing bodies
while eating curry over rice,
we could probably work together."


BRIEF REVIEWS
People Who Want to Be in Movies,
Interviews with Street People, and
A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times


ARTICLES
Chacun a Son Gout
Part I
"I have been attending a course in Living Well with Chronic Illness.
We all sit around a large table
and conduct ourselves in much the manner of a 12-step group...
One of the congregants is an aging hippie
who claims that his illness is chronic poverty."

Part II
"Whenever I enter an elevator in a public building,
I like to stand with my back to the door,
facing all the other people, and say:
You may wonder why I have called all of you together here.
They look back like a row of fish at the aquarium window."
Banning bin Laden

"Would-be terrorists might also use
their home satellite dishes to receive
Echostar's service, The Arabic Elite,
where Qad news service Al Jazeera can be found.
Appropriate governmental agencies should be given
special powers to track down American homes which are beaming in on
Transponder 4 --- Al Jazeera's transponder ---
and thus nab other possible terrorists."


READINGS
Eczema

"Besides which I've got eczema,
besides which I missed two months of my alimony
and today I got a sequestration order in the mail
plus a call-up for the reserves, twelve days in Kastina,
besides which I haven't moved my bowels
for three days.
Excuse the details."

Calling Your Son in Sri Lanka
"That cheap woman you're with may let off
fireworks in bed, I'm not an expert in such matters
and I'm sorry to mention it, but fireworks
go out and time is drying up and the summer is over and you are
not back. The summer is over the autumn is gone and what about you,
where are you? Shrouded in fog in limbo in the arms
of a whore. It's lucky your mother --- well, never mind. Don't hang up."


POETRY
Spring
"Without anyone noticing, spring drags itself off.
The layer of blue paint is peeling from the sky.
Harlem has tied its infected sores with a rag of sunlight
full of holes, filth and bloodstains."
If You Want
"One day
If you want
I'll display the musical score
Of my body
On the naked piano of yours."


LETTERS
Terrorism's Acceptable Losses


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


HELP
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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-eight 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


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