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

Number 133

Mid-Summer 2005

"It's not unlike
the Pentagon's daily
body-count from Iraq.
Only it's not exactly a
list of the maimed,
crippled and dead."

The Singing Life Of Birds
The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong
"Last night I dreamed of my Halley,
Of my Halley, my sweet Halley;
Last night I dreamed of my Halley
For the thought of her is one that never dies.
She's sleeping now in the valley,
In the valley, my sweet Halley;
She's sleeping now in the valley
And the Mockingbird is singing where she lies."

New York Changing
Revisiting Bernice Abbott's New York
"As far as we figure,
the vandals are named
McDonald's Corporation,
the New York Port Authority,
and William Zeckendorf.
May their souls be
boiled, broiled, fried,
and roasted in
architectural hell."

Benjamin Britten and Samuel Barber
"Felsenfeld's essay is clearly written,
and for scholars who don't have
any musical taste, it might even
be considered important.
For those of us who
truly love music, it will be
seen as just another scab
on the corpse of
'Western High Culture.'"

Suicide Information for Teens
"If you are 6 or older
and your Mamá talks
fast enough at the clinic
they'll give you Adderall XR ---
'amphetamine (extended release).'
The chart says it's a
'Stimulant Medication.'
A huevos!"

The Seven Dials Mystery
"It reminds one of rap music,
something that is singularly angry, violent,
and sexist. Yet rap, leached of its original rawness,
is now turning up everywhere.
It has been coöpted as
commercial entertainment.
There is Norwegian Rap and Japanese Rap,
Hebrew Rap, Slovenian Rap and
for God's sake,
Christian Rap."

Great Reviews of the Past
My 'Dam Life: Three Years in Holland
"Condon reveals that
Anne Frank's family was fingered
not by a German nor a Nazi but
by a Dutch neighbor. It was someone,
he suspects, who coveted their
large if hidden

In Search of
Maya Sea Traders
The Missing Head of
Damasceno Monteiro

When All the World
Was Young

Joe McCarthy
My Bloody Life

Isaac Bashevis Singer
"My Attorney Bernie"
Blossom Dearie

Britten, Barber, Part et. al.
"Benjamin Britten is considered
to be a major composer
nowhere except England,
where they also admire
Merchant-Ivory costume flicks
and warm beer, and refer
to chips as 'crisps.'"

Giant Pigs Hunting Truffles
"An account of
the truffle hunt,
and the pigs,
specially bred for their speed and spirit,
galloping over the fields and
leaping the fences in pursuit of
the fleetfooted truffle which,
when caught, would be
stuffed and mounted and
hung on the wall."

The Seven Dials Mystery
"'You shouldn't shoot people,'
said Lord Caterham
in a tone of mild remonstrance.
'You shouldn't really.
I daresay some of them richly deserve it ---
but all the same it will lead
to trouble.'"

Great Readings of the Past
Is it Hanged or Is It Hung?
"After the wake
Sally and I came home to eat
some salad and
drink a little wine,
because we could;
because we were alive. We talked for a while
then turned on the television,
but even as we watched
we forgot what we were seeing,
as though in silence and shadow, it was disappearing
right before our eyes."

Manet and Monet and Marx and Freud
"What mattered more for Manet and Monet,
That Manet had money or Monet had manners?
Mattered to what, pray? Mattered to whom?
To Manet's manner or just Monet's mother?
And what do you mean by that bad-mannered 'just'?"

Locos & Chiles
"Then there was the time Lazaro snapped all the
Habanero chilis off the plants that grew in his father's
garden, and he stuffed them in his mouth. Ah, the screams.
His parents had to call the ambulance and when none
arrived, they asked Talo, our next door neighbor
for a ride to the hospital."


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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Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
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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


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