R  A  L  P  H
  The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities 
Volume XIII, Number 4 --- Winter, 1997 - 1998

SUBSCRIBE
Help perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
Subscribe, and get a print-out of some of our most pithy
along with a copy of one of the newest titles from
Mho & Mho Works.

THE NEWEST RALPH
This will lead you to the latest, and most wondrous, issue of
The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities.


ARCHIVES
This will lead you back through
a dozen or so previous issues of RALPH
(at least as far back as Winter, 1994 - 1995.)


REVIEWS
The Windsor Style
"Nancy Mitford was one of many not amused by their antics:
He looks like a balloon, she like the skeleton
of some tiny bird, hopping in her hobble skirt."

The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick
"During the First World War, he expected an invasion by Germans,
and suggested that massive fortifications should be built at
Albany, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Vicksburg and Houston."

GREAT REVIEWERS OF THE PAST
H. L. Mencken on Public Education
"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all;
it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible
to the same safe level, to breed and train
a standardized citizenry, to down dissent and originality."

Bordertown
"If we didn't know better,
we would suspect the author of being a male chauvinist pig,
but his words about Mexican men suggests that his chauvinism
bears no sexual restrictions whatsoever..."



BRIEF REVIEWS
Los Angeles Lost & Found, Glass Paperweights
Rube Goldberg, and Warren Beatty

MORE BRIEF REVIEWS
Hollywood, ALS, Gertrude Stein,
and Mary Todd Lincoln, Mad


THE WEEKLY RALPH
"Some credit is due to the motorists of those days.
It was rarely that one reached one's destination.
As a matter of fact, only the incurable optimist ever tried to."

ARTICLES
Not Rabies, Baby, But Baby Scabies --- Pt. I
"Scabies is a noxious little bug that burrows under the skin...
moves in, bag and baggage, bringing along all of its progeny.
The only way we know that we are playing host
to the original man-who-came-to-dinner
is that the skin erupts in ways that drive one totally up the wall."

Not Rabies, Baby, But Baby Scabies --- Pt. II
"To them, the thought that I would be having a love affair,
exchanging bugs with my honey, is simply beyond their ken.
Geezers like me --- especially disabled geezers ---
just don't have sex."

Home From Nowhere
"Deep down, many Americans are dissatisfied with suburbia ---
though they have trouble understanding what's missing ---
which explains their nostalgia for the earlier model.
Their dissatisfaction is literally a dis-ease."


READINGS
Two by Jerome K. Jerome
Eating Duck
"We did break the thing up at length, with the aid of a chisel;
but it was perfectly impossible to eat it, and we had to make a dinner off the vegetables and an apple tart."

Two Hundred Horse-Power Cheeses
"At the third sniff, they caught it right on the chest,
and rose up without another word and went out.
And then a stout lady got up, and said it was
disgraceful that a respectable married woman should be
harried about in this way, and gathered up a bag
and eight parcels and went."

Pictures Speaking of Love
"Greed is easy to explain, easy to trace, I think.
But fear --- fear is more complex.
And love: why it's the most complex of them all."

God Must Be Female
"Ginny was afraid of nothing. She was young and old.
Her brown arms and legs swinging in wild optimism,
beautiful in all their parts. She danced on the long hood
of her crimson Cadillac, and watching her,
I thought that God must be female."


POETRY
Five from The Space Between Our Footsteps
"I hear a nine-month-old/has also lost an eye,
I wonder if my soldier/shot her too --- a soldier
looking for little girls who/look him in the eye ---
I'm old enough, almost four,/I've seen enough of life,
but she's just a baby/who didn't know any better."

Genetic Engineering
"I asked the good Dr. Feelgood/ If he could make two of me,
One with all the pain/ (Knees grinding like stones,
Heart full of tremors, eyes/ Watering endlessly, failing peter,
Liver turned to hard black bread)."

Song of Welcome
"Here's your paycheck, here's your rent.
Money is nature's fifth element.
Welcome to every cent."


LETTERS
Re: Lip Service
"I have a pretty tough skin so I don't care when someone
doesn't like Lip Service, but it really pisses me off when someone reviews it without reading it."

Re: RALPH
"The Romans had a word for it. They called it 'puerile.'
It means 'juvenile,' 'childish,' 'silly.'
Get my drift?"


NEW LISTINGS
Books that have been sent to us within the last fortnight or so.


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

1995        1996        1997        1998
 

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


Ralph R. Doister, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 7272, San Diego CA 92107
poo@cts.com

THE OFFICIAL RALPH
PARADOX-OF-THE-MONTH

Go to the Newest RALPH    Go to the Previous RALPH    Go to the Next RALPH