<An open letter to RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities:


I accuse you of Rape.

Your magazine, RALPH, has fired R. R. Doister --- a long-time editor --- and replaced him with a certain Lolita Lark.

We, your readers, accuse you of sexism, elitism, ageism, or worse.

Rumors abound of more than mere professional relations --- what Dwight McDonald once called "the squealing of a well-stained editorial couch."

One has only to look back on the five-year tenure of Doister to recognize his part in the creation of one of the few original on-line book review magazines.

He had RALPH up and running back in the early days of the internet, long before such upstarts as "Slate" and "Salon" came on line.

We readers see this as abuse --- in truth, something that could be called literary self-abuse. As one of my friends said, "It's a fama clamosa of the first order."

One of your critics is an author whose books were recently reviewed by Ms. Lark in RALPH.

He states:

    She was never great shakes as a reviewer. She was rarely satisfied by even the most well-wrought fiction. Her review of my latest novel, published by University Editions, is a case in point.

    She complained about the small size of the type.

    She wrote that the work had "all the charm of an Allentown (Pa.) Public Housing Project."

    Because it was over 1,200 pages, she said that it reminded her of "the fat lady we used to laugh at on the Midway."

    Although she noted that it had been praised in some quarters, she viewed it as nothing more than an oozing cyst in the groin of American belles lettres. [My emphasis.]

Our correspondent then said,

    Do you call this criticism? I see it as nothing more of less than the whining of a literary shtup.

And he concluded, on a note that we can only applaud vigorously,

    That you would put this Linda Tripp of Verbiage in R. R. Doister's place beggars all description.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

All readers who wish to protest this rape of a great and venerable magazine should contact me at,


I dare you to publish this letter. If you don't, you are not only craven, you are what the great Samuel Johnson would call "a prig."

Nicholas Udall
Box 7159
San Diego CA 92167

To Who It May Concern:

I read your sex story Bangkock. You think its funny. You dont know. I was there, and they stuck all different things in there. Its disgusting. If you had a Little Jesus in your Life, you wouldnt be laughing with these things. The Lord will Punish you. "And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers." (Leviticus 1:16). All Americans think about now is sex, but THE BIBLE says, "Thou shall not plow with an ox and an ass together." (Deuteronomy 22:10.) I came to THE BIBLE when I was tired of being a Sinner like you. God loves you. He wants you to do the same. "The earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water." (Leviticus 6:28). Unless you do it, you will go to hell, and the fires will burn your privy parts. Arise sinner!

J. Walker Willets

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