The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities
Number 174 Very Early Summer 2008
Very Early Summer 2008
NEW TITLES Cairo Taxi
The World on Fire My Mother Wears Combat Boots
"Several decades ago
some jokey New York writer types
got together to create
a very bad book.
Each writer contributed a chapter.
Some chapters were returned
because they were 'too good.'
Is that what we have here?"
"The author tells us
that there are 80,000 taxis
on the streets of Cairo and
the figure seems a little exaggerated
until you live there for a week with
the noise, smog, and
"He said of the many
Russians in the United States,
'Out of the sly and crafty eyes of
many of them leap cupidity,
cruelty, insanity, and crime.
From their lopsided faces,
sloping brows, and misshapen features
may be recognized
"If I were going to
have another baby god forbid
this book would be my constant companion.
Even if you decide not to go
into the zygote business,
the startlingly honest fact-finding and
make it worth your study."
The World on Fire
The World on Fire
My Mother Wears Combat Boots
When Huai Flowers Bloom
"Since he did not die,
he was assumed to have
magic chi in his body;
'some even conjectured that
I might be a reincarnation
of a spirit.' Thus
he was not imprisoned."
The Associates The Accidental Explorer
"The rate was $6 a ton:
$4 went to the ship owner
to take the iron all
the way across the Pacific,
and $2 to the Southern Pacific
for the haulage by rail from
San Pedro to Los Angeles.
'Ah!' said the Chinese merchant.
'Los Angeles must be far inland.'"
"Fear binds me to this landscape,
fear at what I might find or lose,
fear of what might find or lose me
out here where everything seems
familiar and foreign, all at once.
Alaska is big enough to cradle
every true fear and hope
we can bear."
The Accidental Explorer
Great Reviews of the Past
Dangerous Travel Guide
"In Zaire, if you are stopped
by the police for whatever reason,
you will be considered a necessary part
of the foreign economic investment
in their country ... If you are waylaid
by a real criminal
don't bother reporting it."
My Life with Chögyam Trungpa
Red Parrot, Wooden Leg
Flags in the Dust
X. J. Kennedy
EVEN MORE LETTERS
Cryptic Letters of the Month
YET EVEN MORE LETTERS
And More Cryptic Letters of the Month
Great Articles from the Past
Lifestyles of the Blind and Paralyzed:
"The pay is lousy,
no vacations or sick leave,
and the compliments...
You'd rather do without them.
On the plus side,
you're exempt from military service,
get to watch lots of TV
and pay half price at the movies."
Leadbelly and John Lomax
"Lomax's posture toward journalists ---
who were not allowed to address Leadbelly directly,
lest they interfere with his purity ---
smacked of the antics of P. T. Barnum.
He had set Leadbelly up as a savage curiosity,
a kind of homegrown Wild Man of Borneo."
The Funeral of Nikolai Vorontsov
"The intellectuals in this room
had thought that democracy would
provide them with their hour,
the moment when
their opinions would count.
Instead the nation, acting
democratically, had gone in
a different direction."
Brooklyn College Brain
"Hello Professor Ginsberg have some coffee,
have some students, have some office hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays, have a couple subway tokens
in advance, have a box in the English Department,
have a look at Miss Sylvia Blitzer behind the typewriter
Have some poems er maybe they're not so bad have a
good time workshopping Bodhicitta in the Bird Room."
Riding the D-Train
"Everything is important:
that thin girl, for instance,
in flowered dress, golden high heels.
How did her eyes get scarred?
Why is that old man crying?
Why does that woman carry
a cat in her pocketbook?"
THE OFFICIAL RALPH
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
A PITHY SAMPLE
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
The best way to get books to RALPH for review.
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
The Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Fund, Inc.
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