The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 235

Early Spring 2013

We've always been fond of
books of photography ---
especially the old black-and-whites.
Here are twelve or so reviews (with pix)
that have stuck with us over the years.

The Best American Magazine Writing 2012
Part One
"The New York literary world is a fetid,
putrid swamp, cloistered off
from the rest of America,
as inbred as the Hapsburg Empire
in the 19th century."

Part Two
"Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone
offers us a stunning commentary on
the financial disaster of 2008 - 2009,
how it was designed, pushed along,
and made a nightmare reality
by various banking institutions
and Wall Street stars."

Cardiff before Cardiff
"If you are a fan of the
slightly eccentric folk of Wales,
this might be for you, and
we are guessing that
the two photographs that we've chosen
to reproduce here
are as good as the best of Cartier-Bresson."

Picturing the Cosmos
"Kessler emphasizes that
what we are seeing is not
a picture as would be created by
your old-fashioned Kodak,
but a shot from an electronic
image-gathering machine,
a digital camera."

The Polish Boxer
"He also smokes cigarettes
on practically every page,
sometimes twice in one page,
worse than any of Salinger's characters,
such that we can predict his future
(if this is really him and not
some Halfon doppelgänger):
that he will die an awful death
from pulmonary emphysema,
as, too, will all his various
friends and lovers
who smoke as viciously
(and as often)
as he does."

Swimming Home
"The important thing
is not the dying.
It's making the decision
to die that matters."

The Life of an Unknown Man
"He is able to invest them all
in one short, passionate volume:
the complete breadth of fifty years of violence,
extending over a vast range of cultures and countries,
destroyed in the name of nationalism,
race, purification, patriotism."

Great Reviews of the Past
Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog

"Ms. Florey is willing to
put the litmus test to anyone,
including Proust ...
in what is said to be
the longest of his sentences,
a 958 word stinker from
Sodome et Gomorrhe
able to take up the entire
wall in your kitchen or hall."

Slim Gaillard
Following Tommy

Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog

Chinese Encyclopedia

Cryptic Letters of the Month
I am very glade

Great Articles from the Past
Madam Blavatsky in India
"The mountain cell
was entirely empty except for
black spiders as big as crabs.
Our appearance, and especially the light
which probably blinded them,
produced a regular panic among them;
they scrambled in hundreds
over the walls, hung in mid-air,
then fell on our heads."

Licensing Your Baby
"Wasn't there some
tall marble building
I had to enter,
a bureaucratic line
I had to stand in,
a form I had to fill out
in order to make
a new human being?"

Ant Surprises
"Trails of leafcutter ants,
collecting leaves to feed their fungus gardens,
look like a fleet of tiny sailboats,
the ants carrying pointed bits of
cut leaves high above their heads."

Great Poems from the Past
     "How queer it is to be understood by someone
on the subject of anything, given that,
  as Norman 0. Brown says, the meaning of things
is not in the things themselves but between them..."

Twelve Great Poetry Books
In RALPH's summer 2010 issue,
we listed a dozen notable poetry books
that we had run across in our
fifteen years on-line.
This is a reprise of that list.

The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World
has just been published.
It contains 200 or so of what we believe
to be the best articles, readings, reviews and poems
from this magazine from our first issue in 1995.
Here you will find all necessary information
on ordering this two-volume set which one critic called "magic."


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

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

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.
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Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176

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