R  A  L  P H
 The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities 

Volume XIX, Number 3 --- Late Spring 2000


NEW LISTINGS
Patricia Hampl on Watchful Brown Eyes,
The Nothing that is Nothing, and
The Heart of Sufism


REVIEWS
Between Silk and Cyanide
A Codemaker's War 1941 - 1945

"The author travels in disguise. His writing style lies
halfway between S. J. Perelman and Mark Twain (with the Marx Brothers
thrown in for a touch of madness). Underneath this frolicking
is something deadly serious. That is --- he's a part of a country
fighting for its life."


Waiting
"Word is now that Oprah barely nosed out
Waitingfor this year's National Book Awards.
What in god's name is going on with those
East Coast literary lunch-heads? Have they no taste ---
outside of noisy television ladies, sugar red-bean paste pies, and salted jellyfish?"


The Best Guide to Meditation
"It is crammed with the many show-off techniques that
publishers use to draw the idiot MTV generation into
actually reading a book: sidebars, italics, huge type
(great for us geezers), half-tones, simple line drawings,
pull-quotes, headlines, double-burns,
white space, bullets, cartoons."


BRIEF REVIEWS
Laurie Lee Remembered (badly),
Peter Brook and his Friends, and
Las Vegas as an Beloved but Ugly Wasteland


ARTICLES
Letters from the Southernmost Part
Of the Northern Hemisphere

I: The Ice Cream Man
"When he lies down to rest, I like to think that he is
still connected to his blue cart --- perhaps even dreaming
of pushing a dream electric-blue ice-cream cart,
light as a feather, through the streets of some dark paradise."

II: Chamisal
"Mexico, fortunately, has a Catholic pragmatism: they know that you can't
chase away lust like a pack of flea-bitten dogs. So they keep it
marginally visible, and marginally regulated, somewhat apart from center city,
dedicated to the raucous pleasures of drink and lust."


READINGS
The Double Monster
Part I

"It is strange to think that the presence of a mere band of tissue,
a flap of flesh not much longer than a lamb's liver, should be able to transform joy, pride, tenderness,
adoration, gratitude to God into horror and despair."

Part II

"The communication of simple essential sensations we performed wordlessly:
shed leaves riding the stream of our shared blood.
Thin thoughts also managed to slip through and travel between us.
Richer ones each kept to himself."


POETRY
The Cat Critic
"When the line/got too long she'd reach
one sudden black foreleg down/and paw at the moving hand,
the offensive one. The first/time she drew blood I learned
it was poetic to end/a line anywhere to keep her/quiet."

The Death of the Knight
"What is this world? What does it ask one to have?
Now with his love; now, alone, in the colde grave,/ Without any company.
Farewell, my sweete love./ Softly take me in your arms, for love of God."


LETTERS
"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."


THE OFFICIAL RALPH
Paradox-of-the-Month


HELP
Perpetuate honest, noisy, pesky book reviews.
Subscribe, and get a free copy of one of the newest titles from
Mho & Mho Works
along with a print-out of some of our most pithy reviews, in
The Folio


THE PREVIOUS ISSUE OF RALPH
This will lead you back to our last issue, and,
if you persist, all the way back to the very first one,
from the dark and wet Winter of our Conception,
1994 - 1995.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Titles, authors, and publishers
of all books reviewed in RALPH ---
arranged chronologically.


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.
History

RALPH didn't spring full-blown from the brows of the gods:
     We've been around (in different guises) for over twenty-five years.     
The Fessenden Fund

Other activities of RALPH's godparents, including
Mho & Mho Works


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

poo@cts.com


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