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

Volume XXVIII, Number 1

Mid-Winter 2001 - 2002

The Selling of Buddhism and
All the King's Men
(Revised Version)

Sounds of the River
"Only in the waning hours of the day, in the eerily quiet night,
would I chew over the learned words of the day,
relishing the real taste of pretty words and beautiful phrases such as
nostalgia, willow bay, nip and tuck, nape of a neck, and tiptoe.
But my favorite of all favorites was the phrase
the white silence, Jack London's coinage for Alaska."

The Best American Essays of the Century
Edited by Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Atwan
Part I
"In other words, none of the angries.
This volume is meant to be sold --- not given away.
In addition, we certainly don't want any subjects
too far out of the loop."

Part II
"Then there's the matter of 'They All Just Went Away,'
by Joyce Carol Oates. By including it, the editors are saying
that it is one of the best American essays of the century.
The Century. Incest is best, right?"

Part III
"The poop pix sent along with this book
shows Ms. Oates to be a lady with the
clear and direct gaze of Tokyo Rose, the waspishness
of Bonnie (as in Bonnie and Clyde), generally looking
as warm and kissable as Rasputin's Uncle Igor."

Great Reviews of the Past
Dean Acheson

"This is a weighty book,
as proved by the fact that I dropped the goddamned thing
on my foot one night as I was getting into bed.
My little toe turned fat and purple, but it gave me an excuse
to stay supine for a couple of days and finish it off
(the book, not the toe). As one of the seductees
of Jacques Casanova said to him the next morning,
The pain was nothing in comparison with the pleasure."

Lily in the Desert,
Dark Back of Time,
The Egg Man of the Fillmore

Death and the Sailor
Part I
"Recently, as I lay dying in St. Vincent's hospital,
of viral pneumonia, the head medico came in with a few students
took my pulse, looked into my eyes, and asked me
how I was doing. I replied,
If I felt any better,
they would have to lay me in the grave."

Part II
"Somewhere between leaving the inner tube in the pool
and rounding up our things in the cabaņa,
I had wet my pants. I was ten years old
and by then, not much given to such antics ---
but it had happened and I wanted to
get home before anyone caught on and scolded me."

Part III
"At times like these
I catch myself thinking about death,
mouthing the word death as if it were something solid,
something that, after all --- and after all this time ---
can have a measure of bittersweet pleasure."

Suicide and The Dark Diceman

"was the saddest word of all
there is nothing else in the world
its not despair until time
its not even time
until it was"

I'm Wearing Green Socks
"David Hilliard rang up Jessica Mitford,
the author of The American Way of Death
and the wife of an important leftist lawyer, Bob Treuhaft.
'We've got this cat Jean Genet coming to town
and we want you to give a fund-raiser for him.'
'And whom do you want me to invite?'
'All the Bay Area intellectuals.'

Great Poems of the Past
A Chinese Poem

"At fourteen I married my Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.
At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours."

J. R. Ackerley, Homosexuality, and
Bloodless Brits

Of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy

All books reviewed in RALPH
since 1994 arranged chronologically.

Help perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
With your $10 subscription, you get
a free copy of one of the newest titles from
Mho & Mho Works


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.
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
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent

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


Visit our next issue     Visit our current issue    Visit our last issue