The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities
Number 256 Early Winter 2014
Early Winter 2014
It seems to us that books of photographs
are a natural for all the spaciousness online.
There is the space (and the time)
to write about them --- and
offer best examples of their worth.
We aren't much for bare breasts,
naked navels, groinish gambols --- at least online.
But on occasion, the question of lust does come up,
and we try to deal with it in an adult
if not adulterous fashion.
Here are ten from over the years
that caught our eye, and may give you a gasp.
What were the Art books
that came to us over the first few years.
And how did we handle them?
Did our magazine show as much flesh
as most of them did?
After twenty years,
could we possibly come up with
the names of a dozen or so very best books
from back at the beginning? We can,
and we do it here.
It is said that a book with the picture
of a cuddly pet on its cover will outsell
all others two to one.
What's with all these grinning monkeys,
dandified pups, querulous cats,
mossy man-eating crocodiles,
all-embracing (and not-so-kissable) boas?
When we started out,
god was white and white-bearded on his throne, and
all was right with the world. Then we learned that
there were quite a few other gods crowded
together there at the divine table,
waiting to serve and be served.
These are the best we found.
The world is lousy with unpublished poets
who, like many of their peers,
are willing to shell out $5,000 - $10,000
to have thin volumes to stack under their beds.
How do our poetry-challenged editors survive the deluge
of would-be Eliots, over-stoned Beats, neo-Gothic Ginsbergs,
quasi-Romantic-Modernists? Who knows?
Here are ten of our favorites from over the years.
Since we are all half-mad already,
how did we react to the thousand
neo-Freudian psychotic new interventionist
family therapists beating down
our editorial door
driving us bonkers?
The Books of 1994 - 1995
What we did then,
what we find so hard to do now,
is to make quick, short, pithy, and user-friendly reviews.
In the Age of Internet, brevity seems to get lost somewhere.
Here, you'll rediscover it.
More Books of 1994 - 1995
What were the books that were
sent for review in the early editions of this magazine?
Were they good, bad, wonderful, dreadful?
Were we good, bad, wonderful, or dreadful?
Here are a few reviewers and reviews
from the first year of RALPH.
The newest art of filling up 300 - 400 pages with words
was discovered by radio interviewer Studs Terkel.
Could we ever match him in sheer logorrheic frenzy?
We tried, and here are ten of our favorites.
Having done that,
could we possibly come up with
another eight or ten page-fillers?
We could and did --- and here they are.
NEW TITLES Singing Bronze Briefs
"Although he is over his head
in trying to manage her care,
he struggles to live up to the unwritten code of
his fellow residents --- not to show any sign of
weakness or vulnerability."
"The strike note is the bell's big bang,
a vivid sound that starts
at the moment the bell is struck and
disappears immediately to make room for
the resonance of the partial notes,
which fan out like ripples in water.
Strangely enough, the strike note cannot be found
in the vibration pattern of the bronze.
It is formed in the listener's brain,
and thus is a purely psychological phenomenon."
The Guilt of the Everyday Ho-Hum Reviewer
A Doctor's Arrogance
The Minotaur's Head
The War of Attrition
An Epidemic of Rumors
Gun Metal Heart
The Rise of Superman
Grafton Tyler Brown
MORE LETTERS READINGS
Metaphysical Odyssey into The Mexican Revolution
Francisco I. Madero and his Secret Book, Spiritist Manual
Vowels to the Ukraine
"Before an emergency
joint session of Congress yesterday,
the president announced US plans to deploy
over 75,000 vowels to the war-torn region of
To Know the Revolution
"For all his brilliance
he could not see that even though
having fun is not the same as making a revolution,
many revolutions really did begin
playfully and with laughter."
"advice as to penetrate human
in the instructions for the controllers of state
avoid scientific phrases
for example directoritis acuta
defined disease by boy - zelensky."
OUR NEWEST BOOK
The Vivisection Mambo
will be published next year.
It consists of 121 poems
from the newly discovered
many reviewed here
for the first time.
OUR PREVIOUS BOOK
(Still Hot Off the Press)
The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World
was published last year.
It contains 200 or so of what we believe
to be the best articles, readings, reviews and poems
from this magazine --- from our very first years to now.
If you subscribe to RALPH, you get a free copy of this anthology ---
which recently received the Kirkus star.
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
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.
15,000 - 20,000 Hits Daily
Over 100,000,000 Total Hits
1994 - 2014