The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities
The Marriage of Pix & Texts
We think of it as a new art form - - -
short passages linked with photographs or drawings
that (at times) explain, expand, invert,
or even contradict the prose.
Here are a baker's dozen of those
from the last few years that
we feel succeed in using pictures to
sharpen the message.
Men Without Women
"If you buy it - - - and don't confuse it
with Hemingway's book from 1927 for chrissakes - - -
start at the back and work yourself towards the front,
just like I do with The New Yorker. So I
don't have to plow through all that boring trash
at the beginning."
A Rabble of Dead Money
The Great Crash and the Global Depression:
1929 - 1939
"Between 1920 and 1933,
15,000 banks, failed, half of them
before 1930, most from wretched practices of your
friendly local banker: too little equity, foolish loans,
expanding too fast. By contrast, in Canada, during
the same period, bank failures
were very rare."
"Anyone who can dare, after all these years, to try to prove - - -
or worse, even succeed in proving - - - that Prohibition
actually worked; anyone who dares to go into that
fraught territory and survive . . . well let us be the last
to whine over a little occlusive
Shadows of Survival
"As I sat there in some pain
when the gasoline scalded my scalp, I remember the feeling of
triumph that I can call up to this day looking at the jeering children around me.
'What dummies,' I thought. "Don't they realize that I could not care less
what they are saying? I have triumphed here, I saved my hair,
which is all I care about.'"
"It sports a blurb from ALA Booklist.
'¡Manteca!, like its English translation, butter,
will melt delectably in the mind, creating flavors and
nuances to ponder again and again.'
Those of us who lived hard-scrabble lives
on the former lands of the taínos,
know that manteca ain't nothing but
plain old-fashioned white-goo lard."
A Contract with God
"All day the rain poured down
on the Bronx without mercy.
The sewers overflowed and
the waters rose over the curbs
of the street."
"Those I play with have
personally decided the game's outcome
long before they sit down at the table.
They've wrapped themselves up so tightly in the desire
to beat me by any means possible that all
I have to do is to put a few links in place,
and the chain that firmly binds them
"According to official records
the subjects were 'volunteers' but you know about
volunteerism in the military: he stands in front of you
and asks for volunteers for a program that will
save American lives and he looks at you
and you know you are doomed."
The Murderous History of
Great Reviews from the Past
Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?
"Poison gas was used more extensively
after the end of WWI than during the conflict.
Examples: The British in Afghanistan (1919) and in Iraq (1920),
the Italians in Libya (1923 - 1924) and in Ethiopia (1935) and
the Spanish in Morocco (1921 - 1927).
In 1920, Winston Churchill said,
I am strongly in favor of using poison gas
against uncivilized tribes."
Hawthorn & Child
"I don't know.
The negotiating guys will arrive.
They'll send in a phone or something.
You can talk with them.
Demand a flight to Cuba. Or a pizza. Whatever ...
Come on Moss. You give me the baby and
I'll tell them you have a gun."
J. S. Bach & the Clinch Mountain Boys
Cataract Operations Gone Bad
Mekong Delta Blues
"For hours (indeed, days),
on either side of the highway, we pass glowing
green rice paddies; an endless plain of chartreuse neon plush
with rangy, swaying hedges of coco palms, and
raised white tombs scattered over the fields.
'The ancestors,' Tam explains, 'are buried on the property
to watch over and protect it.'"
"The 'X-Men' mythology
combines a miscomprehension of
junior highschool Biology with
the daydreams of a 12-year old."
Genghis Khan and His Successors
"Europeans experienced a Renaissance,
literally a rebirth, but it was not
bthe ancient world of Greece and Rome being reborn:
it was the Mongol Empire, picked up, transferred,
and adapted by the Europeans to their own needs
Great Readings from the Past
Don Quixote, Sancho Panza and the Ghosts
"In a snuffling tone, he said,
'Sancho, thou seemest to be in great fear.'
'I am so,' answered the squire, 'but, how comes
your worship to perceive my fears now, more than ever?'
'Because, at present, thou smellest more than ever ---
and that not of amber,' replied the knight."
"A bricklayer's daughter, she'd grown up hard
As cement - - - never reached 100 pounds,
Lived on potatoes and tea, cut her own hair.
Husband gone, youngest child killed in the street,
She carried a ball peen hammer up her sleeve
On the daily walks she made us take all over town."
"Our Woodstock nights, half-a-million thumb-flicked
Bics coaxed to climax by God's thwapping bass,
Hissing soppy Oms against the cloudmass.
A drenched, naked hillside soulless and pure,
Zonked, mud-caked, Yanomamö, immature."
Great Poems from the Past
Visiting the Dead
"If your aunt keeps talking too much, like she
usually does, we'll tell her that we just got
back from the cemetery, & that should shut her up.
She never goes there, & it shows, because
the more you visit the dead the less you have to say."
"When I was small, I knew them well.
I counted on them up to ten
And put them in my mouth to tell
The larger from the lesser. Then
I loved them better than my ears,
My elbows, adenoids, and heart.
But with the swelling of the years
We drifted, toes and I, apart."
Surprise Top Pop Hit of the Month
First Stop in the New World
"The most lively parts of
First Stop have to do with his
demonstrations of the peculiarities
of Mexican Spanish . . . and of his
THE OFFICIAL RALPH
THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Great Paradoxes of the Past
OUR NEWEST BOOK
Life Among the Walkies
"If you don't understand
the word Walkies, you probably are one.
It refers to the 90 percent of the world's people
who, when walk-time comes, just get up and do it.
For the disabled, this simple act of get up and go
is one of those miracles that continues to bemuse us:
feet & arms & legs & balance & potential &
kinetic energy all coming together in
apple-pie order, working solemnly,
beautifully, to get through the room,
the city, the country,
OUR RECENT POETRY BOOK
The Vivisection Mambo
was recently published in quality antique typeset style.
It consists of 125 poems of the new Neo-Realist School,
many appearing here for the first time.
In a starred review, Kirkus called it
A fine anthology of some of the best contemporary poetry around.
AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THIS MAGAZINE
The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World
was published several years ago.
It contains 200 or so of what we believe
to be the best articles, readings, reviews and poems
from this magazine --- from our very first years to now.
We still have a few dozen copies on hand.
If you know of a library or research organization
or worthy save-the-world institution
or poverty-stricken artist, writer, or poet
who you believe deserves a copy,
please note their address
and we'll mail them one, gratis.
(Send appropriate postage if outside the U. S.)
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
In our General Index, from day one,
we have given stars to those titles that
our editors deemed to be of "especial merit."
You can now find them all here,
listed alphabetically by title.
THE FESSENDEN REVIEW
b. 1985 - d. 1989
Our predecessor magazine received
enthusiastic encomiums from media writers at
The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times,
The San Francisco Chronicle, and on
National Public Radio --- among others.
You can now find links here to all thirteen riotous issues.
A PITHY SAMPLE
of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy
With your $25 subscription,
you help perpetuate honest,
noisy, pesky book reviews ---
plus ensure the survival of
this rare if odd online literary journal.
You will also receive
a free copy of our anthology,
the two-volume Best-of-Ralph
which, is, in the real world, they say, priceless.
T H E F A C T S
Submitting Reviews, Poems & Essays
Suggestions for would-be contributors --- and payment schedule.
The best way to get books to RALPH for review.
RALPH didn't spring full-blown from the brows of the gods:
We've been around (in different guises) for over thirty years.
The Fessenden Fund
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent
Mho & Mho Works
A Dozen or so Books from Our Foundation's Publishing Arm
Behind the Scenes
The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
The Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Fund, Inc.
2015 - 2016
476,768 Unique Visitors
1,645,139 Page Hits
Lolita Lark, Editor-In-ChiefOur next issue is to be posted here on or before 15 August 2017
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176