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

Number 112

Middle Late Spring 2004

The Yellow Rain,
The Kenyon Review,
Second-Hand Souls

Vintage Amis
"He is, for the most part,
a noisy, bratty show-off.
What he most needs is
no further reprinting of his writings,
but a sensitive culling of his works
to give us the few bits of magic
that he has managed to create
in his eighteen or so books."

Vintage Nabokov
"My grandmother read me a tale
about a mermaid who had
acquired a pair of feet.
The inquisitive breeze
would join in the reading and
roughly finger the pages
so as to discover
what was going to happen next."

"Highly respected in her field,
she had it all.
'Kneel, you male student scum!' Carolyne snarled.
She was dressed in her usual outfit:
black leather stiletto heels,
a matching black leather bikini,
and gloves. In her right hand,
she held an English riding whip."

Great Reviews of the Past
Embracing Despair, Discovering Peace
"He emphasizes Buddha's four facts of being:
that we have no control over our birth;
that we will all fall ill;
that we cannot avoid aging;
and that we must all face death.
He certainly scorns the Norman Vincent Peale
positive-think approach."

A Commune from the 60s,
H. L. Mencken's America, and
Tropical Diseases and the Spanish-American War

Reynolds Price, and
Idiots at RALPH

Richard E. Byrd,
Gutson Borglum, and
Coast to Coast by Automobile

The American People in the Great Depression
Part I

"The radical nature
of the Social Security Act
came from viewing old age insurance
not as a civil right
but as a property right.
At the same time,
it was cleverly sold to the public
not as a form of taxation,
but as a 'contribution.'"
Part II

"It makes us long for
the proud nation of yore ---
no matter how flawed ---
that once crowned this troubled land.
By comparison, we look with dread
to a future mired in
envy, greed, and the trampling
of what was once
a generous rule of a generous people
by a government of hope and charity."

Beggar Your Closet
"It was quite common
for an entire tribe of mendicants
to live in the cupboards
of a big house
without the knowledge of
the family occupying the house."

The Gold Coin
"In New York City
in the early nineteen hundreds
you could buy a large schooner of beer
for a nickel.
A free lunch came with it.
This morning,
Jake the tailor was first
at the teller's window.
He laid down
a five-dollar bill."

Evangelical Schools and Scholars
"The aspirant comes in from the barnyard,
and goes back in a year or two to the village.
His body of knowledge
is that of a street-car motorman
or a movie actor."

Two by Nichita Danilov
"Leaning against the window frame, the Angel
smokes a long cigar,
At midnight, you can spot him hunched
over a small table, staring at a hand of cards.
A young man will come from the East
with blue clothes and green eyes.
All the dark-haired women in the City will hang from his curls,
like so many copper coins.

Two More by Nichita Danilov
"At age 18 he was as tall and beautiful as an archangel.
He scoured the city at night, from end to end, his eyes shining with black hope.
Women tempted him, and he fell
into temptation, more than once."


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

Help perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
With your $25 subscription, you get
a free copy of one or more of the 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 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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