The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 238

Early Summer 2013

Why Oh Why?
In each issue of this magazine ---
beginning so many years ago ---
we included a "Paradox-of-the-Month,"
a mot, a wheeze, a wizen truth
that reflects the puzzlement
we feel when we wonder why,
for example, there is

"You and I may think
we are driving a car,
but --- according to the authors ---
we are really engaged in
transforming fossil stocks of carbon
into atmospheric carbon dioxide."

Thomas Brock
"It is said that the king himself
visited the studio, where he viewed the model
for some time in silence.
He then said, 'That is to be the monument.'
The notes here do not inform us
if this was a question or a statement."

The Mermaid of Brooklyn
"My everyday struggles
held within them an echo of the legendary,
that maybe if mothers had time to write,
all the old epic poems
would be about trips to the grocery store
instead of wars."

Black Earth City
"This was the first wave of
purely economic emigration that Russia had seen;
previously, exiles had left with a certain glow of heroism,
whether they were fleeing tsarist censorship
in the nineteenth century or
persecution by the KGB in the twentieth."

Story of a Secret State
"The scars on his wrists
are testament to this failed attempt,
and throughout the course of the book,
they become identified with him
--- used, at times ---
as marks of certification."

Fine Bonsai
"Let us join the BLF ---
The Bonsai Liberation Front ---
to free these tiny innocents from such torture,
save them from being nipped and clipped
and abused at every twist and turn."

Postmodern American Poetry
"And always there's Ginsberg,
always managing to touch us,
apparently in defiance of our editor's statement
that this book represents a 'worldview' that
'sets itself apart from mainstream culture
and the sentimentality and self-expressiveness
of the mainstream culture.'"

The Woman of Porto Pim
"Having reached an age
at which it seems more dignified
to cultivate illusions than foolish aspirations,
I have resigned myself
to the destiny of
writing after my own fashion."

Great Reviews of the Past
Nights in the Pink Motel

"Then there is Robert Earle:
a novelist and, perhaps, a journalist
in the style, most improbably, of Daniel Defoe.
Did he make himself up?
It's that oldest of Hegelian paradoxes:
who are we? Who is it
who makes up your mind?"

Alain Badiou and Saint Paul
La fondation de l'universalisme

Ethel Merston
Gertrude Bell

Cryptic Letters of the Month
$$$ in Afghanistan

Letters We Never Finished Reading
Mighty Man
Dully Yours

Kitty Inquisition
"Pope Gregory IX declared in 1232
that domestic cats were diabolical,
and the Holy Inquisition was almost as exercised
about the danger of cats as it was about
the threats posed by heretics, schismatics, secret Jews,
and the Bible in vernacular languages."

Interrogation and Suicide
"I thought of my religious convictions
and the undeniable guilt that would be mine.
But the memory of the last beating was too vivid.
One phrase dominated my mind.
I am disgusted,
I am disgusted."

The Polish Typhoid Mary
"To spread contagious diseases
was Ian's favorite activity.
He carried on his person an astounding
collection of every type of lethal agent.
He had an attractive, specially constructed
little box in which were housed lice that bore microbes,
typhoid-bearing germs, and other diseases."

Personal Poem
"we don't want to be in the poet's walk in
San Francisco even we just want to be rich
and walk on girders in our silver hats
I wonder if one person out the 8,000,000 is
thinking of me as I shake hands with LeRoi
and buy a strap for my wristwatch and go
back to work happy at the thought possibly so."

Great Poems of the Past
Email You
"We spent much of the day
In bed. You played
Der Tod und Das Mãdchen
Over and over. We were
Listening to each other listening,
Listening at love. "

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."

What Was It about that Sweet Summer of 2006?
Every month, our server provides us with a count of
visitors to previous issues of our magazine.
For some reason, one outshines all the others.
Issue 149 from Mid-Summer 2006 gets over
double the number of hits of all the others ---
some 40,000/month. month after month.
Is it the review of the elegant "Art of Rockefeller Center?"
Is it the photo of what we have come to call "The Crying Frenchman?"
Perhaps it's our resident scientist's curiosity about "Distant Galaxies."
Whatever it is, here you can look for yourself and perhaps
figure out why so many of our readers
return again and again.


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.
10,000 - 20,000 Daily Hits
200,000+ Original
Page Views each Month

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

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