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

Volume XXVI, Number 3

Very Late Summer 2001


Philip Roth's Latest,
WWII and the Philippines, and
The Reader's Companion to Military History

The Invention of a Messiah

"In the spring of 1909,
he turned up with his brother on a beach near Madras.
He was six or so. Charles Webster Leadbeater ---
and I didn't make up that name --- saw him, saw auras,
and said This one is going to be the new divine."

The Burden of Time
"The darkroom is so exciting
I can go out of my mind.
I love the fact that I can close the door;
it's quiet and semidark, and nobody can get at me.
I even love the smell of the chemicals.
It all comes back stronger because there's nothing
to deflect my attention. It's like Proust's madeleines."

Embracing Despair, Discovering Peace

"It's just that I worry about the many readers
who will have to spend twenty-one bones
in order to learn about Pure Land Buddhism,
and, in the process, will learn that life is a crock.
Or, in the words of the author, How can we forget
that we are born into this life crying?
That when we die, we die alone."

Great Reviews of the Past
Warriors of the Prophet:
The Struggle for Islam
"If you ever had doubts about those
military ninnies in Washington who send out
billions of dollars to stir up the broth of
world politics (and in the process,
create intrigue and terrorism),
then this is your book.
U. S. military and intelligence sets it in motion,
and not long afterwards, the monsters
come out of the closet."

Photos of Africa,
Six Months of Medical Dissection, and
Seven Days Shipwrecked with a Crew of Nags

The Hurricane
"You wake up at five or six a.m.,
and the wind is blowing, the gray clouds
are scudding low over the flatlands.
The wind is tearing at the palm trees,
and the palm fronds rip and chatter."
Hunting for Dad
"And I am watching them there
(I have never seen my father laugh so hard before ---
and those stories!), the four of them
talking far into the night, the men, with their man's talk,
and their freedom, to be alone with each other,
and tell those wonderful lies."

Dreams of Tanks

"Hypnotized by the power of the empire,
I had a sudden vision of the terrestrial globe
and how these tanks --- our tanks! ---
could strip it entirely bare.
A brief command would have sufficed.
I took a pride in this,
such as I had never felt before. "

Men on Wheels
"The one-armed man in his box on wheels
came hurtling down the sloping alley
with a thunderous grinding of ball bearings.
His stump pushed repeatedly against the ground,
steering his crazy descent. And in his mouth
there quivered a knife, clenched between his teeth.
The cripple who had stolen his money
had just enough time to grasp his stick."

Three by Bart Edelman
"Where the hell is Illinois?
The inquisitive student wonders.
I think a geography course
With the dynamic Professor Leaver
May do her more good
Than the current poetry class
She visits rather infrequently."

The Deregulation of Broadcasting,
The Apotheosis of R. A. Fessenden, and
The Golden Uterus:
"What does a great golden uterus
hanging lamp look like?"


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

This will lead you to our last issue ---
and, from there, back to the previous sixty-five 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
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Submitting Reviews
Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
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
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Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 7272, San Diego CA 92167

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