Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Wider Please

In 1757, the Wide Streets Commission was set up to lay down wide modern streets which leading citizens felt were essential to a modern and prestigious city. Unfortunately Dublin was not to remain such a city for very long.
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A Literary Terrorist

One critic has compared reading Charles Maturin’s Melmoth to climbing Mount Everest, yet the novel continues to appeal, in part perhaps because of its role in creating a genre that is still potent in global culture –in Hollywood movies, popular music and manga animation.
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The Pleasures of Destruction

Book-burning is a recurring element in our cultural history, though mostly the authorities have found censorship and regulation more effective. For the people, however, a good show is always popular and great satisfaction can often be derived from the destruction of symbolic goods.
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Kissing Cousins

James Cousins, an early literary revival figure, fell for Gretta Gillespie. Gretta overcame an early antipathy and they married, embracing vegetarianism and theosophy, which provided a focus for enthusiasm in the absence of “some more artistic way of continuance of the race”.
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Women in the Library

Like teaching, librarianship is a profession that has long been associated with women and offered them employment opportunities when many other paths were closed off. And occasionally too they were cherished.
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Hope Springs Eternal

In 1983 the British Labour Party campaigned on a radical left-wing manifesto that delivered it its worst general election result since 1918. Now, it seems, it wants to do it all over again.
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Yellow socks and guacamole

Is an apparent lack of intellectual or cultural sophistication an essentially English trait? It is certainly one that can bear fruit for the populist politician.
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Democracy and Numbers

Does democracy mean that everyone has the right to have their will implemented? What if it clashes with everyone else's will?
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The Tories, Europe and Scotland

If the UK votes to leave the European Union could Scotland be dragged out against its will? And in those circumstances could another independence referendum be resisted?
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Death and Life of the Bookshop

Adam Gopnik laments the recent closure of a famous Parisian bookshop. Elsewhere, however, la lutte continue, the fight continues.
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A city frozen in time

The prevailing culture in Dublin is one of conservation: we don't like the new or the modern, preferring the old and crumbling. So why then has there been such sentiment about the Poolbeg chimneys, symbols of an industrial era we seem to be happy to turn our backs on?
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Don't understand, just be afraid

After graduating from Columbia, John Berryman headed to Cambridge. 'Yeats, Yeats, I'm coming! It's me!' a later poem has him exclaiming from the ship.
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Britain Brought To Book

Back in 1988, in a speech in Bruges, Margaret Thatcher laid down the law to the Europeans as to how they should run their show. She did at least acknowledge, however, that Europe was something with which Britain was connected.
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In Praise Of Ali Smith

Alex Clark pays tribute to novelist Ali Smith for her generous work on behalf of other literary practitioners, and in particular her championing of first-time authors.
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Misunderstanding Orwell

'Nineteen-Eighty Four' was first published sixty-six years ago today. Some people seemed to think that Big Brother was based on the unlikely figure of Clement Attlee.
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If the Brits had won ...

If Tom Barry and Winston Churchill had succeeded in reigniting the Anglo-Irish War, who would have emerged victorious? And would Ireland now enjoy a system of universal health care?
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Jeering the men of 1916

It is fairly well known that volunteers captured in 1916 were sometimes jeered at by crowds of working class Dubliners on their way to imprisonment. What exactly can we read into this and what does it tell us about the legitimacy of the rising?
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If at first you don't succeed ...

Ingeborg Rapoport was a recent medical graduate when she finished her doctoral thesis on diphtheria in Hamburg in 1938. But she was not allowed to submit it as her mother was of Jewish origin.
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Saul Bellow Brought To Book

Saul Bellow was not the first, but he was one of the earlier and most dominant of the Jewish writers who played such a big part in 20th-century American literature.
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Peter Gay: 1923 - 2015

Peter Gay, who fled Berlin with his family as a schoolboy, settling in the United States, was one of the most eminent historians of the Enlightenment. He was also a biographer of Freud and wrote other books on modern German and Austrian history.
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