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

Volume XXI, Number I

Early Late Summer, 2000


NEW LISTINGS
Bunches of Bugs,
The Sonoran Desert in 1895, and
Vladimir Nabokov on Butterflies


REVIEWS
Victorian Painting
"For those of us who are softies for this lush, garish, tearful,
almost pornographic style of art, Victorian Painting is treasure-trove.
There are 500 illustrations which means that for sixty bucks,
you get a lush, garish, tearful collection of watercolors, line drawings,
and paintings at 8.33 cents a shot."


When I Was Mortal
"Marías takes an obviously wonderful plot line,
and quickly sticks us right in the middle of it, sucks us
into this shaggy-dog story, making it totally believable,
making it so that we don't want it to end."


Great Reviews of the Past
H. L. Mencken on Aimée Semple McPherson and Isadora Duncan
"There is comfort here for poor and wormy folk.
They come in from the farms and cow towns with their lumbago, their shortness of breath,
their broken ribs, their ringing in the ears, their souvenirs of bad medicine,
bad surgery, bad obstetrics --- and Aimée cheers them up.
In a little while they vanish into Heaven, but more are always on the way."


BRIEF REVIEWS
Children in the Middle Ages,
Rajneesh in a New Disguise, and
Pain


ARTICLES
Letter from Skåne
Part I
"I purchased several Marvel comic-books in Swedish and have been
doggedly working my way through them. Thanks to this intensive study,
I now have some command of the sort of Swedish that is spoken in
Spindelman and Fantastisk Fyran."

Part II
"I have been fortunate to be able to study these academic rituals at first hand,
as they often take place directly outside my apartment at 2 AM.
And, whenever I feel homesick for loud American rock music, I need only open a window,
especially on weekends, to assuage the longing."


READINGS
People Who Torture
"At 270 volts, there was an agonized scream. At 315 volts, the learner yelled,
I told you I refuse to answer! I'm no longer part of this experiment!
At 330 volts there were hysterical pleas and a prolonged, intense, and agonized scream.
Yet as long as an experimenter in a lab coat ordered the volunteer to continue
whenever he or she questioned the procedure, 62 percent of the subjects
continued to give shocks all the way to the end of the scale."

The Shark With A Lightbulb (On His Tongue)
"He buries himself under the sand
with only the light bulb sticking up
and then when a fish comes to see what is the light,
he snatches the fish up in his mouth."


POETRY
Two More Father Poems
Number One
"He will now go to sleep/ Listening to the static on the radio, dreaming
Of his ancestors and grandchildren, thinking/ Of nomads entering a subcontinent
through a narrow pass."

Number Two
"Nights, I squat in the cornucopia/ Of your left ear, out of the wind,
Counting the red stars and those of plum-color.
The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue./ My hours are married to shadow."


LETTERS
Alfred Jarry,
My Father's Castles, and
The Boy on the Green Bicycle


RALPH'S TOP POP HITS
In the five years of its existence, RALPH has published
hundreds of reviews and articles.
Some of these have gotten (and continue to get)
an inordinate number of hits.
We list herein those which ---
for no reason at all that we can fathom ---
appear again and again on our Daily Hit List.


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 the last RALPH, and,
if you persist, all the way back, through forty or so issues
to the very first one, conceived in
the dark and wet Winter of
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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