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

Number 122

Mid-Fall 2004

Langrishe, Go Down
The First Christian Crusade
Hilary Mantel's Giving Up the Ghost

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
The Painting of the Sistine Chapel
"He stuck in jokes on the ceiling, thinking
(n that pre-binocular, pre-video time)
that they would never be spotted
from below. A dwarfish angel
is seen giving the fig (the finger)
to one of the sybils.
And Michelangelo's own face
appears as that of the prophet Jeremiah."

"There is little to compare
to the hellish brutality of a sea battle.
Men are entrapped in a tight steel box.
They are beyond sight of land,
floating in untold fathoms of sea-water.
Separated by miles of roiling ocean,
combatting warships throw tons
of high explosives
at each other."

The Bridge over the River Kwai
"What the film didn't show you
was the over 40% mortality rate
among the POWs and the gratuitous
starvation. Nor did it show
routine beatings the Japanese
gave to the POWs,
in some cases, casually pummeling them
to death."

Great Reviews of the Past
Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis"
"It's beyond me why an author
would have the hero of his tale
turn into a beetle when he could
just as well transform him into
a poodle, a cuddly kitten, or at worst,
a butterfly."

Insight Meditation
Short Stories by
Contemporary Indian Women

Whipping Students
Into Shape

For Your Eyes Only
"My turn came and
I approached the counter,
tapping my cane on the floor
to find my way because,
with my falcon glasses,
everything closer than 500 yards
is a blur."

Elvis in Italy
"In the car, they were worried,
and then they heard a little voice:
'Anch'io canto un poco...
I sing a bit, too.'
The driver translated.
'Elvis,' said the cop,
'you know Elvis?'"

David Richards
"If Paul Wolfowitz
were a money manager,
and he made the forecast about
weapons of mass destruction
and the Iraqis greeting
the American forces with flowers,
and then declared 'mission accomplished,'
when in fact we were totally unprepared
for the uprising we face there,
he would have been fired for incompetence."

Jugs That Sing
"Aunt Ada big as a casa lived in Mexico
in the village of Tepeyacac
where she crawled on her knees
to take communion
at the altar of the Black Virgin
Our Lady of Guadalupe."

Great Poems of the Past
Berating Your Son in Sri Lanka

"Listen carefully. This is your father speaking. A simple man,
a rather grey man, and so on and so forth, but still your father. The only one
you have, and that's something your irony can't change."


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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Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
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San Diego CA 92176


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