The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities
Number 234 Late Winter 2012 - 2013
Late Winter 2012 - 2013
A DOZEN BEST BOOKS OF 2012
In our General Index
we mark our favorite new books
with a big star.
Here are twelve or so
that we found especially copesetic.
"It's a story with
brilliant detail about prejudice,
dark life on the streets,
and truly ghastly characters ...
but as it stabs us again and again,
it gives us no relief."
"I had my doubts
about this one when I picked it up ---
an epic on supermarkets, really! ---
but I grew rather fond of it
as I revisted it to write this review."
"He asked about my father.
I wanted to tell him what I told you,
but that's nothing that can't be found in a book,
a diary, a newspaper, a coroner's report."
Walking the Amazon
"It doesn't want to be
a neat river with neat borders.
It goes its own way, an oversized,
fat tumble of water that
keeps running all over the place
whenever and wherever it wants to,
ignoring all maps and predictions."
Eyewitness to World War II
"The official estimates are
62,171,600 to 78,041,700 dead,
but who is to know how many were simply burned or buried
without being counted and, as grim,
how many good souls were destroyed in heart and mind
by such a foolish confrontation of nation-states."
"The man who destroyed my life
steps out from behind the curtain,
his white suit spackled
with bright red blotches.
His eyes flare like cruel diamonds.
His smile is disgusting and final."
"You have to watch more than one ant
to learn anything about their behavior,
because of every five ants that embark on a task,
three will never manage to do it before you
get distracted or lose sight of them.
The other two might turn out
to be doing something you never thought of."
Great Reviews of the Past
Posters of the Canadian Pacific
"The Canadians always do things
more elegantly than those of us to the south.
Their use of resources is more forgiving,
their cities more inviting,
their transportation wonderful,
and certainly their manners
are more regal."
Paintings from Bali
EVEN MORE LETTERS
The Last of the Just
YET EVEN MORE LETTERS
Cryptic Letters from Andriana
And Ms. Birdford
I Was Forcibly Sterilized
By the State of North Carolina and
All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt
"The state of North Carolina went berserk
sterilizing cripples from 1929
all the way up to 1974.
About 7,600 people were sterilized by 'choice,'
force or coercion under the authority
of the N.C. Eugenics Board."
"He does and says anything
that comes into his head.
He'll sing Cement Mixer, Put-ti Put-ti
and suddenly slow down the beat
and brood over his bongos with fingertips
barely tapping the skin as everybody
leans forward breathlessly to hear."
"I am always hungry
& wanting to have
sex. This is a fact.
If you get right
down to it the new
butter is no damn
good & you should
buy it in a jar as
always in the
A RALPH ANTHOLOGY
The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World
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It contains 200 or so of what we believe
to be the best poems, articles, readings and reviews
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on ordering this gorgeous two-volume set.
THE OFFICIAL RALPH
All the back-issues of RALPH,
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A PITHY SAMPLE
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T H E F A C T S
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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
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