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

Volume XIX, Number 2 --- Early Spring 2000


NEW LISTINGS
The Underside of the Nixon Years by J. Anthony Lukas,
The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine
What Might Have Been, and Muriel Spark's Bachelors


REVIEWS
My Kitchen Wars: A Memoir
"Paul Fussell is laid out a capon, on the butcherblock counter,
doused with an elegant sauce, then deboned
before being cooked up on a spit. It's Hubby, Dearest ---
with a béchamel sauce out of Provence."

The Night Inspector
"He had a pasteboard mask made up, with holes for eyes and mouth,
painted brows and nose. He moved to New York where he
traded pork bellies, got rich, and spent time jawing
with Herman Melville, and whoring with a mulatto named Jesse."

Dr. Freud: A Life
"Some have called him the greatest novelist of the turn-of-the-century --- besting Joyce, Proust, and James. Civilization and its Discontents and
The Interpretation of Dreams are as stunning to read and contemplate now
as they were a century ago. Not according to Ferris ---
a real Freudian party pooper if there was one."

Devil Take the Hindmost:
A History of Financial Speculation
Part I
"Mother comes to me in my dreams and tells me what stocks to buy.
(I don't make this up: these stentorian voices never came to me
until after she died in 1995). Now, the moment I wake up,
I have firmly planted in my brain the name of a stock,
and often its price."

Part II
"Everyone in their right mind knows the current lunacy
in the stock market has to end, and that its ending is going to be
painful, destructive --- and quite possibly, disastrous
for the political and economic system we operate under."


BRIEF REVIEWS
Grand Central Winter
The Marines of WWII, and
Getting Drunk in the Bar Stories


ARTICLES
Funny Book Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize
"Pulitzer, who came to the U.S. from Hungary as a teenager,
never actually learned the English language.
The first newspaper he published, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch,was written entirely in Hungarian,
and still is to this day. People in St. Louis don't notice the difference
because the paper has plenty of pictures."

Captain Hook
"He had two hooks for arms. He'd go around the town, and
on the beach, all day, bare-chested, showing off his hooks,
fake arms that connected to his shoulders, with the "flesh" being that
Motel 1950 shiny plastic seat-cover orange/tan so favored
by orthopaedic manufacturers."


READINGS
Two by Ryszard Kapuscinski
I. Flying in Siberia
"People sitting motionless, for hours on end, on old chairs,
on bits of plank, on plastic crates, in the shade of poplars and mango trees,
leaning against the walls of slums, against fences and window frames...
not really doing anything, living with neither desires nor goals, and also
(one can assume) submerged into mental torpor."

II. Tamerlane
"Those whom he conquered he ordered beheaded.
He ordered towers built from their skulls, and walls and roads.
He supervised the progress of the work himself.
He ordered the stomachs of merchants ripped open and searched for gold.
He himself supervised the process to ensure
they were being searched diligently."


POETRY
The Gods of Fairness
"The failure to see God is not a problem
God has a problem with. Sure he could see us
If he had a hankering to do so, but that's
not the point. The point is his concern
for us and for biscuits. For the loaf
of bread that turns the night sky over Stockholm."


LETTERS
Henry Miller as a self-publisher,
Anorexia as a drag,
Richie Havens as a hero, and
Arturo Toscanini transmitting to Montana


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


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


HELP
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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.
1995    1996    1997    1998
1999 (Early)    1999 (Late)

 

T H E  F A C T S
Submitting Books

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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 twenty-five years.     
The Fessenden Fund

Other activities of RALPH's godparents, including
Mho & Mho Works


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

poo@cts.com


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