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

Number 152

Very Early Autumn 2006

Truth is a Pathless Land
"The cover shows Krishnamurti
in five photographs, smiling.
Forget it.
He is a hectoring grandfather ---
scolding our heartlessness,
our unwillingness to change,
our division from ourselves."

Black Mountain College
"Buckminster Fuller
commissioned a special project:
the prototype of the
Geodesic Dome which,
because it immediately collapsed,
was dubbed 'The Supine Dome.'"

Courthouses of Minnesota
"The Stearns County Courthouse
appears to be modeled on the U. S. Mint,
implying, perhaps, that
guilt and gilt go hand-in-hand.
Pipestone County's reminds me
of my old college dorm and
I suspect it's just as uncomfortable and drafty,
but I doubt if the inhabitants drop
cherry-bombs in the flush toilets
on drunken Saturday nights."

Marshall McLuhan Unbound
"In mid-twentieth century,
AT&T was the largest business in the world
'with a gross national product
equal to the entire Canadian economy,'
and got that way by
'doing nothing but move information.
No wheels, no shafts, no belts,
just the movement of information.'"

The Encyclopedia of World War One
"The Encyclopedia
evades the agony of bombs,
gunfire, despair, and death.
There are hundreds of
black-and-white photographs,
which convey some of the reality,
but the truth of ten million dead
is bled dry by pure fact."

Publish and Perish
"The supernatural element
in these farcical tales
gives them
a pleasingly old-fashioned quality,
but the academic satire
is as up-to-date
as the latest issue of
The Chronicle of Higher Education,
and it is razor sharp."

Great Reviews of the Past
"He describes suicide
in many novel and exhilarating ways:
by impaling, by squashing,
by absorption animale,
by explosion,
by incineration,
by immersion prolongée partielle,
by excès hydraulique, and
by laminage --- this last
a very costly process,
involving hiring a rolling-mill."

AA Gill Is Away
James Agee on Brooklyn
The Six Yogas of Naropa

A Dead Cat
Blasphemy in the RALPH Mailroom
This Bloody Life
Contact with the Deceased

The Underground Tour
"The plumbing contractor
had prepared an estimate,
and he passed it across the table to me.
A paper black with figures
swam before my eyes, and
I was assailed by a spasm of pain,
centered in the checkbook."

The First Be-In --- 1952
"Charles Olson and M.C. Richards
read their poetry,
student Robert Rauschenberg
displayed his paintings
and played records,
and Merce Cunningham danced.
Tudor was to perform on the piano,
and Cage would read
from a previously prepared lecture
on Zen Buddhism."

"In the pool of bright light,
I watched a remarkable fraternity of
nice, attractive and amusing people
doing what the rest of us
cool libertarian liberals
have been talking about
since the sixties. That is,
be honest, relaxed and
open about sex."

Radio Poem

"Carried from house to house to ship from sail to train,
So that my enemies might go on talking to me,
Near my bed, to my pain
The last thing at night, the first thing in the morning."

Contemplating Hell
"And endless trains of autos,
Lighter than their own shadows, swifter than
Foolish thoughts, shimmering vehicles, in which
Rosy people, coming from nowhere, go nowhere.
And houses, designed for happiness, standing empty,
Even when inhabited."


All the back-issues of RALPH,
including titles of books under review,
along with author, subject, and publisher,
plus links to readings, articles, and poems
that have appeared on-line
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
Behind the Scenes

The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
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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