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

Volume XXXV, Number 4

Early Summer 2003

Route 66, and
Photographs of America, 1935 - 1943

Memoirs of a Revolutionary
Victor Serge
Part I

"In his official journalist's rôle
Serge knew everyone, seemed to be
part of all the important events
of the early years of the Revolution.
His dozens of vignettes of the principals ---
not just the Trotskys and the Lenins ---
but of the many other participants ---
are gripping, often funny, sometimes sad."

Part II
"The Party that was excommunicating, imprisoning,
and beginning to murder us,
remained our Party,
and we still owed everything to it:
we must live only for it,
since only through it could we serve the Revolution.
We were defeated by Party patriotism:
it both provoked us to rebel
and turned us against ourselves."

Jean Genet
"Why do murderers,
when they write,
almost always give
descriptions of themselves,
of their acts,
or of their imaginary acts,
that sound like
First Communion?"

Great Reviews of the Past
Chump Change
"There's boozing and stealing cars and
boozing and picking up whores and
boozing and attempted suicides and
boozing and fighting with the family and
snorting coke and blacking out on smarmy motel rooms and
upchuck and dog-shit in the back seat and
trashing cars and putting unmentionable things
in women's purses."

God's Mountain,
Bugs, Bites and Bowels,
Christopher Reeve's Still Me

Spam & Spammers
Jan Reid, Boxing, and Disability, and
Children of a Vanished World

"They next intoned a series of contemporary social ills
taken from any issue of The Nation magazine,
and faithfully dripped a drop of wine for each of these:
Militarism!(drip) Racism! (drip) Sexism!(drip)
When they got to Homophobia!(drip),
I could no longer contain myself,
and shouted out: Telemarketing!(drip)."

Samovars and Bedlam
"What we really need is
a bit of civility in the unit.
I think it would be lovely
if we served high tea for patients and staff at 4 PM.
I've spoken with the hospital administration
about getting a silver tea service."

Manuel and the Whore House
Fermín said, What happened to you?
Manuel stopped what he was doing,
said nothing. I mean, about your legs?
said Fermín. Manuel did a somersault,
hid his face under the sheets,
wouldn't come out, said nothing,
went to sleep."

The Funeral Workers Were Whistling Mozart
"That strange word urbanism,
whether it comes from a Pope Urban
or from the City,
will maybe no longer be concerned with the dead.
The living will get rid of their corpses,
slyly or not."

Poems from
Word of Mouth
Part I
"The last name on the ledger
Belonged to Joseph Mary Plunkett Ward
And was followed, as often as not,
By silence, knowing looks,
A nod and a wink, the Master's droll
And where's our little Ward-of-court?"

Part II
"Eighteen years I've spent in Manhattan.
The landlord was good, but he turned bad.
A scumbag, actually. Man, I hate him.
Money is green, but it flows like blood."


A complete list of all books reviewed in RALPH,
arranged by title, including author, subject, and publisher,
plus a listing of all readings, articles and poems
that have appeared since 1994.

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

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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
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent

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


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