Twelve (or Perhaps More)
Great Letters to
RALPHWe've been publishing "Letters to RALPH"
since our earliest issues.
Some of the most pithy have been lost
in the mists of time,
so here are a dozen or so
we've dredged up from our salad days
for you to marvel at.
The titles provide links if for those
wish to read the entire letter."Wars are being declared, the countryside is being destroyed, poverty is stalking young and old alike --- and you write a review of a book on Pet Cemeteries. Can anything be so trivial?"
H. L. Mencken
"I feel about him as I do the whole human race, especially men of letters. When I find out that the great Ignazio Silone was, they say, probably on Mussolini's payroll, and that George Orwell kept a list of radicals for British intelligence, I am forced to acknowledge that despite the appearance of saintliness in their writings, that they too, were humans, with human foibles, and human weaknesses. This does not make them more loveable --- but it also doesn't make their writing any less pertinent."
Dancing Alone in Mexico
"What kind of idiots do you have writing book reviews? In her report on my book Dancing Alone in Mexico, Ms L.A. Bloom admits she's slipping into senility. I think she's already there. I assume, L. A. is a woman as are most writers who use only initials. Or perhaps she can't spell her name. She certainly can't spell Frida Kahlo's which is spelled incorrectly as "Frieda" throughout."
Anorexia"Well. Just to tell I am 30s, male and not particularly amused with the idea of people suffering round because my E[ating] D[isorder]. Even not living with my parents neither in my home country and following a path full of success, I am keeping those problems for years and a fear to die because nobody knows what to do, and people like you, immersed in ignorancy, believe can judge everybody in that way..."
"Tarquin whizzes down the passage to the box room like a prima donna, his robe purling after him. He bursts open the door and stands still, staring in full on the yellow eyes. His resolution to insult, to injure, to ravage, dissolves inside him. His very guts are liquefied by rage and contrition. He is so humble now, so plaintive, so full of expression, so docile, so in love."
"After reading Lark's puerile, off-the-cuff responses to other (better?) reviewers' opinions of the book (which she calls, unaccountably, a 'booklet') it became clear to me that the reviewer was far more interested in her own cleverness and ability to dash off a few zingers than in forming a thoughtful, careful, and mature opinion of the poetry."
Professionally Gifted Amateurs
"Dear Ms. Lark:
Are you the originator of the RALPH site?
It has many originators.
It's a wonderful site. I'm intrigued by your name...
Me too. Larks are too.
Are you having books published as well?
Our books are listed at
Are all of the pieces at the site professionally authored?
All of us are professionally gifted amateurs.
We are renaissance men, renaissance women.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for yours."
"Dear RALPH: What does a 'great golden uterus hanging lamp' look like?"
"I don't know if you wrote that stupid article about migraine, but let me tell you that the only thing that you are showing is your ignorance and I feel sorry for a person like you (if someone can call you person because you think like an animal)."
Wasted"I have to say I am utterly amazed at your complete ignorance in your review of Marya Hornbacher's Wasted. You are so narrow minded and obviously did not listen at all to the pain and suffering Marya Hornbacher has endured through her life.."
Puerile"I have been reading RALPH since its inception. Or should I say, 'Since the literary D&C that some people would call a birth.' Wouldn't it be worthwhile for you and your writers to do something constructive now and again besides beat on America, Americans, and American publishing?" Bloodless Brits"I swear, you white people just can't tell. But you do write pretty good. Just like everyone else; but everyone else is not so dumb with culture..." Bio of Our Editor
"Lolita Lark was born in the Middle West, one of the members of the Trapp family. She grew up in New England, and travelled extensively as a teen-ager. After a near-death experience in the Northwest at the age of eighteen, she became a Zoroastrian, and later married a Swiss linguist, Hermann Lark. She has translated several works of Schiller, including An die Freude."
"you give into the Devil and youre going to wake up one day in hell the fires burneing you to sinders burning and it never going to stop. It will hurt, and It will be forever not onlie today or tomorrow but FOREVER."
Cradle of Valor
"Do you know something? Your evaluation of Cradle of Valor is pure crap, pure and simple crap! I knew General Smith, he was a great man. He was a classmate of my father and he gave more of himself to America and to the world than you ever will!"
"Are there no limits to your sick humor? In one of your articles about us (I couldn't find it in RALPH, thank the Lord, but my friend read it to me), you said that the "Anorexics of America are threatening to rise up and march on RALPH and do a Eat-In and then a Barf-In in front of our offices." That kind of talk is sick, mister, and you make me sick. I'd like to rub your nose in it, just like I do my dog when he makes a stinky mess on the rug. That's all you deserve, you sick-o."