A Cry
To Arms

An open letter


I accuse you of rape.

Your magazine has fired R. R. Doister --- a long-time editor --- and replaced him with Ms. L. Lark.

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

We readers see this as abuse --- perhaps literary self-abuse. As one of our correspondents and fellow protesters said, "It's a fama clamosa of the first order."

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

Back in the early days of the internet --- long before such upstarts as "Slate" and "Salon" came on line --- Doister set the standards of the magazine you are trying so hard to destroy.

§     §     §

An author whose books were recently reviewed by Ms. Lark on RALPH reports:

    She was never great shakes as a reviewer. She was rarely satisfied by even the most careful fiction. She spent time on trivial facts. 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 a Newark City 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."

    And although she noted that it had been praised by highly-placed reviewers, she referred to it as "an oozing cyst in the groin of American belles lettres."

Do you call this criticism? I see it as nothing more than the whining of a literary would-be. That you would put this Linda Tripp of Verbiage in Prof. Doister's place beggars all description.

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


Nicholas Udall
Box 7159
San Diego CA 92167

PS. I dare you to publish this letter. If you don't, you are what the great Samuel Johnson would call "worse than a Whig --- a prig."

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