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

Number 128

Early Spring 2005

Wandering Star
"If Le Clézio
had written solely
of the Palestinian or Jewish refugees,
this would be an affecting novel.
By taking no sides,
by showing the agony of all ---
he has produced a near masterpiece."

Umberto Eco on Literature
"He can employ
modern pop drollery
to respond to a dumb question
from interviewers:
Q. How did you write your first novel?
A. From left to right."

Mario Vargas Llosa's
Way to Paradise

Part I
"This one is a
club sandwich: bacon, lettuce, tomato,
mayonnaise, cheese, onion, pickles, hot peppers,
roast beef, mustard, ketchup, and
dog pizzle."
Part II
"When she returns
to meet with the owner,
she says, slowly and precisely,
'As someone who began as a weaver,
do you think it fair to make your fellow
human beings work in such conditions?
That workshop is worse than any sty
I've ever seen.'"

New Media --- 1740 - 1950
"The text questions the reader
and can respond to the answers.
The writer no longer drives the text,
and while the linearity of reading
is retained, the linearity of
any given text
depends on the reader
rather than the writer."

Before Adam
"Not only is life nasty,
short, and brutish, but the Folk
take delight in dragging women around
by their hair, beating up on the old Folk, and
laughing at their weaknesses."

Great Reviews of the Past
The Rise and Fall of Synanon
"He spouted Zen, Lao T'se,
Ralph Waldo Emerson, and S. I. Hayakawa.
He built a working institution in record time,
and got the attention of prison authorities, legislators
and the police."

The Novels of Andreï  Makine
The Earth and Sky of Jacques Dorme
"When they brought her a glass of water,
the adventuress, parched with thirst,
hurled herself upon it
and declared, with a voluptuous sigh:
Such a shame this is not a sin!"

Requiem for a Lost Empire
"The village
had been scoured by so many waves of
armed men, Reds, Whites, anarchists,
bandits pure and simple, and then Reds again,
by so many lootings,
fires, and deaths, that the villagers
were no longer surprised at anything."

Cryptic Letter of the Week
Confessions of a
Cataract Operator
The Dream of Death
Ta Moko & Tin Boxes

Barry Corbet
Part I

"He was hardly a banker.
A master editor and filmmaker and writer.
Even, perhaps, a master in the Eastern sense.
He had spent several years with one of
the most famed teachers of Tibetan Buddhism
in America, Chogyam Trungpa."

Part II
"'You know what the Tibetan Buddhists
say about death.'
'They call it
The dream at the end of time.'"

Pity, Terror and Death
"A long fine needle of
the shivered glass pierced her heart.
She died on the instant.
The reporter called it a tragic death.
It is not. It is remote from
the terror and pity according to
the terms of my definitions."

My Dearest Dust
"Even though
my interest in English literature was great,
the material I was given access to
scarcely included four of the poets
who have given me the greatest pleasure
in my later years: John Donne,
John Clare, Walter de la Mare, and
Edward Thomas."

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
"It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs."

"In the cowslip pips I lie,
Hidden from the buzzing fly,
While green grass beneath me lies,
Pearled with dew like fishes' eyes,
Here I lie, a clock-o'-clay,
Waiting for the time o' day."


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
Copyright Notice
The Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Fund, Inc.

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


Visit our Previous Issue    Visit our Current Issue     Visit our Upcoming Issue