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

Number 167

Very Early Winter 2007

NEW TITLES
Afghanistan
"In the fairly extensive
language section
the word for war jang
is the same in Dari/Farsi and in Pashto.
"Shame on you" is listed
only in the former;
"Are there landmines?"
appears in both, but
phrased slightly differently."

Ticket to Exile
"I remember
the smell of roasted rats
that my parents used
to supplement our diet.
Rats would be trapped, skinned,
and roasted over a skimpy fire.
The smell was unique,
unlike any I remember since."

The New Earth from Above
"One is led to believe that
Arthus-Bertrand could be taking
helicopter photographs of
dog-stool in Burbank or
a drunk throwing up in Jersey City
and make it dramatic."

The Coldest Winter
"She could certainly
use a bit of a talking-to
about this name-drop business.
Paul Robeson. Lawrence Olivier.
Miles Davis. Winston Churchill.
And would you believe
Jean-Paul Sartre?"

Inventing Los Alamos
"According to Groves,
the biggest problem at Los Alamos
was the production of scientists.
Not of bombs, but of babies.
He protested to Oppenheimer
about the birthrate.
Oppenheimer replied that
this hardly seems to be
the responsibility of a
scientific director."

Beethoven: The Universal Composer
"In later years,
he would attend rehearsals
of his newest works,
would watch the performers,
watch their hands,
how the violinists were bowing,
which keys the oboists were touching,
and would know,
by sight alone,
who was misreading
his manuscript."

Leopold Méndez
Revolutionary Art and
The Mexican Print

"I was astonished
by the spectacle of
a dead dog in a
state of decomposition,
covered by butterflies
with silvery wings,
carnivorous butterflies that were
devouring it.
It was like a dream."

Great Reviews of the Past
Molvanîa
"The pig is generally
considered the symbol of Molvanīa.
Believed to be sacred by many,
these animals may only be slaughtered
Monday to Saturday.
Pigs are widely used
throughout the country
for meat, milk and ---
in remote areas ---
companionship."


BRIEF REVIEWS
Beowulf
Frederic Chopin
Gentlemen of the Road


LETTERS
The Dew-Line Bears
Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada

MORE LETTERS
Mark O'Brien
Self-Publishing
Hitler and Syphilis

EVEN MORE LETTERS
Sylvia Plath
Contact with the Deceased
Stepwise Technique


ARTICLES
Who Beats Your Heart?

"While tearing off a game of golf
I may make a play for the caddie;
But if I do, I don't follow through,
Because my heart belongs to Daddy."

Beethoven's Oeuvres
"One of my friends chided me
for snubbing Dvorák.
Something must have changed:
We all start to go a little
soft in the head with time.
I even have a
fair amount of
Tchaikovsky now."


READINGS
The Edwardians

"Standing at full length in the portrait
Sargent's Ribblesdale stared out upon
the world in an attitude of such
natural arrogance, elegance and
self-confidence as no man of
a later day
would ever achieve."

The Birth of the Unknown Soldier
"For most of the history of war,
only the greatest warriors were remembered;
the rest were buried without
ceremony in some hastily dug pit.
Until the twentieth century,
the nameless corpse left on
the battlefield was the accepted norm,
not the symbolically
powerful exception."


POETRY
Aspirin
"It was the way
he held me against him,
his prickly chin pressing
against my head
that I remember best.
I wanted to be
held like that
forever."

Sweet Tarts
"Everyone got so excited,
staring at Rhonda,
I decided to practice.
After school I practiced
fainting in my own room,
falling, over and over,
my knees going weak, a pillow pressed
against my head."

Great Poems of the Past
Hurricane Fred

" A guy came along on a horse
Shouting into a bullhorn that the turtles were coming
We said so what
He told us they'd eat the furniture
Drink the gas from the cars
Run up the phone bill and keep the lights on in the daytime
Well we battened down the hatches
And sure enough they came millions of them
Moving in off the freeway
Eating doorknobs and drinking fuel
Wanting only to be loved."


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


GENERAL INDEX
All the back-issues of RALPH,
including titles of books under review,
along with author, subject, and publisher,
plus links to readings, articles, and poems
that have appeared on-line
since 1994.


A PITHY SAMPLE
of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy
"FOLIO"


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T H E  F A C T S
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Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
History
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     We've been around (in different guises) for over thirty years.     
The Fessenden Fund
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent
Behind the Scenes

The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
Copyright Notice
The Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Fund, Inc.

Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176

lolitalark@yahoo.com


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