Dear Miss Lonelyhearts ---

I am kind of ashamed to write you because a man like me don't take stock in things like that but my wife told me you were a man and not some dopey woman so I thought I would write to you after reading your answer to Disillusioned. I am a cripple 41 yrs of age which I have been all my life and I have never let myself get blue until lately when I have been feeling lousy all the time on account of not getting anywhere and asking myself what is it all for. You have a education so I figured may be you no. What I want to no is why I go around pulling my leg up and down stairs reading meters for the gas company for a stinking $22.50 per while the bosses ride around in swell cars living off the fat of the land. Dont think I am a greasy red. I read where they shoot cripples in Russia because they cant work but I can work better than any park bum and support a wife and child to. But thats not what I am writing you about. What I want to knows is what is it all for my pulling my god damed leg along the streets and down in stinking cellars with it all the time hurting fit to burst so that near quitting time I am crazy with pain and when I get home all I hear is money money which aint no home for a man like me. What I want to know is what in hell is the use day after day with a foot like mine when you have to go around pulling and scrambling for a lousy three squares with a toothache in it that comes from useing the foot so much. The doctor told me I ought to rest it for six months but who will pay me when I am resting it. But that aint what I mean either because you might tell me to change my job and where could I get another one I am lucky to have one at all. It aint the job that I am complaining about but what I want to no is what is the whole stinking business for.

Please write me an answer not in the paper because my wife reads your stuff and I dont want her to no I wrote to you because I always said the papers is crap but I figured maybe you no something about it because you have read a lot of books and I never finished high.

Yours truly,
Peter Doyle

--- From Miss Lonelyhearts
(New Directions)
©1933 Nathanael West


This is in reference to the recent editorial rumble at RALPH.

It was never too clear to me what Sr. Roisterdoister was doing at RALPH, aside from the coincidence of proper names. Ms. Lark's reviews have always struck me as having more the pungency and aftertaste of the original Fessenden Review, for which I recall her being a regular contributor.

For a long time I've noticed that letters addressed to RRD were being replied to by Ms. Lark. This made me suspect that the notoriously bibulous Mr. RD was soaking up the orange-flower-water once again, and that Lolita was left to cover for him indefinitely.

I wish Ms. Lark good luck as the new Chief Editor of RALPH, and expect to see her special brand of eclectic cosmopolitanism reflected in the selection of reviews, reviewers, and layout. I believe this change bodes well for the new millennium. Ms. Lark deserves all our support. God knows she has paid her dues ten times over.

--- phil44@goodtimes.com


What a great review of All the Time in the World. I feel almost jealous of that boy I no longer am. What if he had it and I don't? No, because you like the columns too, thank God. Anyway, amazing --- and I am so grateful to Tom Meagher at Akadine for doing it. Now I want him to do the other one, the American one, No Particular Place to Go.

By the way, you didn't really write inviting me, did you? A joke, I take it. Because, if you do, I might just take you up on the invitation. I had such a great time (although mostly in retrospect, I admit) in New York this year that I'm thinking of going again next May and every May.

From you review I understand that you have travelled a like journey?

What I never put in the "Lily" chapter is that she had a photo of someone who I recognized as a boy I was a school with! Too weird.

Does the internet count as a real review? (I'm inter-illiterate).

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