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

    Family Troubles

    David Blake Knox
    A novel set in Ireland and in various of the theatres of the Second World war is based on the historical story of an Irish family of the minor gentry, who, like well over 100,000 other Irish citizens, took part in this conflict, in which nine thousand of them are estimated to have died.
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    A Canine Resurrection

    David Blake Knox
    The ancient Irish Wolfhound was chosen as an emblem for the Abbey Theatre and a mascot for the Irish Volunteers. But in fact the dog we know as the Wolfhound is far from ancient and far from ‘pure’. And perhaps, as such, it is not an unsuitable symbol for the Irish ‘race’.
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    Gypsy Dancer

    David Blake Knox
    Johann Trollman was a gifted athlete who floated like a butterfly through German boxing bouts in the 1930s. But he was a member of the Sinti community, operating in a sport the Nazis considered a forum for the display of essential Aryan values. He could not be allowed to win.
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    Rebellion of the Intellect

    David Blake Knox
    In the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, published one hundred years ago this year, the hero’s father, Simon Dedalus, describes the Irish as a ‘priestridden Godforsaken race’. That claim may once have had validity, but it does not any longer ‑ at least as far as the ‘priestridden’ part is concerned.
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    Communities At War

    David Blake Knox
    It might be expected that World War II’s impact in Northern Ireland would be determined by sectarian criteria, with unionists relishing the opportunity to prove their loyalty and  nationalists stubbornly withholding their support. In reality things were more complex.
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    A War Without End

    David Blake Knox
    Steam locomotive C5631 is proudly displayed in the museum at the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan, where prime ministers come to honour war criminals. There is no mention there of the hundreds of thousands of prisoners who died building the WWII railway on which it ran.
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    Imagining the Irish

    David Blake Knox
    Good-humoured, charming, hospitable and gregarious, yet drawn to tragedy. Are the Irish subject to some kind of collective manic depression ‑ lurching wildly from exuberant craic to existential despair? Or is this just the kind of moonshine we like to feed our customers?
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    Casting a Spell

    David Blake Knox
    The older I get, John Burnside remarks, the happier my childhood gets. In a third volume of memoirs he goes further towards an understanding of his father, a threatening alcoholic for whom, he had said in an earlier book, cruelty came close to being an ideology.
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    The Goggle Box

    David Blake Knox
    Television has been accused of dumbing down the population almost since it was invented. For TS Eliot even the word itself was ugly and foreign. Noel Coward thought it ‘hideous and horrid’, while those on the left feared it would seduce the working classes and liquidate their sense of class solidarity.
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    Crimes and Punishment

    David Blake Knox
    Crimes and Punishment
    Germans have confronted the crimes of the Nazi regime with honesty and thoroughness. Important sections of Japanese society, however, prefer to forget or forgive the wartime actions of their army and deal with victim nations with defiance, not conciliation.
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    The Writing Cure

    David Blake Knox
    Ross Skelton’s memoir of his Antrim childhood and his unhappy relationship with his father casts light on some of the hidden complexities of Ulster society in the middle of the last century and is likely to prove a work of lasting value.
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    Missing

    David Blake Knox
    Throughout their captivity, the Irish seamen consistently refused to sign an agreement to become freie Arbeiter – voluntary workers ‑ for the German Reich. In early 1943 they were again segregated, and thirty-two of them ‑ including William ‑ were moved by the Gestapo to Bremen Farge ....
    According to the survivors, they were beaten by SS guards when they arrived at Farge. They were told that, since they were civilians, they were not protected by the Geneva Convention, or the International Red Cross.
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