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

Number 109

Late Winter 2004

The Best Twelve
Editors' picks of a dozen books ---
novels, biographies, poetry, history ---
that were the best releases
of the year 2003, and...

The Worst Twelve
Editors' picks of a dozen books ---
novels, biographies, poetry, history ---
that were the most awful releases
of the year 2003.

The Cave
"But there I go again, telling you the story,
making me feel like one of those dumb reviewers
from the Times or the NYRB or the TLS
or that awful Publishers Weekly
where they spend half the review retelling,
and retelling badly,
the story that is set there in the book
with all due artistry."

S. S. Proleterka
"This one is La Nausée without art,
'Death in Venice' without lust,
Last Year at Marienbad without the still-shots.

Sex and the Single Stock Trader:
How I Made $10,000 in Junk Stocks in Six Months
"I have committed to memory
the two great mots on investing
uttered long ago by Adam Smith:
1] A stock does not know
that you own it;
2] The stock market is ruled by
greed on the upside and
fear on the downside."

Great Reviews of the Past
Lindbergh: Triumph and Tragedy
"Bodies were instruments,
things to be shaped by eugenics,
that pseudo-science grew out of a twisted Darwinism,
the belief that we could breed out all the misfits,
rid ourselves of the insane, the dark, and the dirty
though the appropriate science of
applied copulation."

Fairy Tales,
Charles Dickens' "Haunted House," and
A New View of World War One

The Dominican Republic,
Lies and History,
The Fessenden Review, and
Suggestions on How to Jazz up RALPH's Image, and
How to Better Promote RALPH to the World

What's To Be Done With Saddam Hussein?
"Imagine the chance to study ---
at length --- a man who, for 25 years,
possessed and maintained absolute power
in a neo-industrialized nation."

My Best Friend's Ghost
"I suppose that's
a ghost's reason for being ---
to remind us.
Maybe believing in them isn't even the point.
Perhaps the more relevant question is whether
they believe in us."

The Cave
The Dog Found
"Even if you were the ugliest of men,
the dog Found would say of his master
were he able to speak,
your ugliness would have no meaning for me,
I would only find you odd
f you acquired a different smell
or stroked my head in a different way."

The Creations of Man
"Assuming that there was at the time
another creator above this creator,
it is very likely that the lesser
sent up to the greater a prayer,
an entreaty, a supplication, or some such thing.
Please, don't let me make a mess of it."

Great Poems from the Past
Nursing Babies
"That I loved nursing.
That I nursed each baby
Whether they were hungry or not.
That they were always hungry.
That milk flowed like tears.
That my blouses were always damp."


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
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 thirty 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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