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

The Visionary Upholsterer

David Askew
He was involved in the Gothic revival in, for example, stained glass. In textiles, he was both a weaver and a dyer –both the technical and the aesthetic aspects of his work are of interest. He was a businessman and manufacturer, and founded a successful company, Morris & Co. He combined his publishing and entrepreneurial expertise to become one of the most important private printers of the modern era. He was a noted translator.
Jun 10, 2011, 15:17 PM

Ill Prepared

Mary Jones
From the early months of the Influenza pandemic – in Ireland as elsewhere, attempts were under way in universities and laboratories in pursuit of a therapeutic vaccine for influenza.  They did not succeed: this influenza-type infection was undoubtedly lethal, and they knew that it was not a bacterium; but  they simply did not know, at this stage in the pandemic, precisely what order of  complexity they were dealing with.
Sep 7, 2011, 16:36 PM

No Sad Imperialist of the Aesthetic Self

Ciarán Benson
Just as the exiled Joyce carried his own flawed Ireland into exile with him and had then to devise his own means for imaginatively reinventing it, so O’Doherty carried with him an Ireland and found in the then radical movements of minimalist and conceptual art in New York his own forms for expressing elements of his originating world. As his alter ego William Maginn says in The Deposition, “home isn’t where the heart is, it’s where you understand the sons of bitches”.
Mar 9, 2011, 18:44 PM

Celebrating Uncertainty

Patrick Lonergan
What emerges clearly is a sense of Friel’s international importance. A chapter comparing him to Osborne and Storey liberates his plays from some of the confines that Irish scholarship restricts him to, showing clearly the universal significance of his work.
Dec 17, 2012, 14:16 PM

History Is To Blame

Maurice Earls
Mar 1, 2008, 18:00 PM

An Inch From The Everyday

Kevin Stevens
Ford’s narrators get into our ears. A master of first person narrative, he creates observers who are lyrical and philosophical yet confused; situated outside the principal action but profoundly affected by it; urged on by a desire for engagement with life but consistently puzzled by and fearful of the world’s random give and take. The lilt and tone and hesitancy of these voices lure us into their owners’ lives.
Jun 22, 2012, 10:00 AM

Get Smart

Paul Gillespie
Strategic thinking is always a bonus in politics, never more so than during a crisis. It is comparatively rare in Irish political life, notably in linking national and international developments. Arguably, and paradoxically, Ireland has been better at long term strategy, such as its overall approach towards the EC/EU, than in dealing with more immediate change. There is a strong strain of inertia in the political and bureaucratic culture once high policy is decided on.
Dec 2, 2011, 15:07 PM

Light Thickens...

Maurice Earls
It seems, to the mild irritation of both Prussian sages, that the women in the Marx and Engels households went into collective mourning following the hangings. In a letter to Engels, Marx described his daughter’s response: “Jenny goes in black since the Manchester execution, and wears her Polish cross on a green ribbon.” “I need hardly tell you that black and green are the prevailing colours in my house too,” Engels replied, perhaps feeling he had had enough of Irish woes for the time being.
Sep 8, 2009, 17:56 PM

Problematising Undecidability

Barra Ó Seaghdha
The transferability of postmodern discourse, and its endless repetition over recent decades in academic essays, papers, dissertations, articles, talks and books, throws its usefulness into question in a way not intended by its adherents; it may also induce in the reader an impatience that cannot simply be ascribed to intellectual conservatism, the kind of impatience that would arise if every news programme or sports commentary had to be preceded by a fifteen-minute homily on the indefinability or impossibility of objective truth.
Jun 7, 2011, 14:02 PM

Rough Justice

Cormac Ó Gráda
Leitrim was fond of money: in his office at Lough Rynn he was Midas in his counting house ... He took over an encumbered estate and debts of about £55,000. At his death his gross rental income was about £30,000 and he had accumulated capital of £180,000 in bonds and cash. In today’s terms that is roughly €20 to €25 million. Most of this fortune he had extracted from an impoverished tenantry.
Mar 4, 2009, 16:35 PM

Out of the Ice

Enda O’Doherty
In most communist societies, the intelligentsia, and in particular the artistic intelligentsia – engineers of the human soul in Stalin’s phrase – were afforded the opportunity to feel important and live well, if at the price of a slight (in Russia not so slight) risk of things ending quite badly ... All that was necessary to keep things on the right course was that if kindly advice about the content of one’s work was offered one should take it.
Nov 1, 2009, 20:51 PM

The Dub Republic

Michael G Cronin
Doyle’s fusion of realism and ironic playfulness produces an attempt at counterfactual history in which we still end up where we are. The possibilities offered by fiction are used to imaginatively restore those obscured currents – revolutionary socialism, the working class – to Irish history, only to finally demonstrate that it doesn’t make any difference. Crucially, this conclusion does not just shape our understanding of the past since it also determines our orientation towards the future; namely, as something over which we cannot exercise any control and which we can no longer imagine as being in any way different from the present.
Sep 8, 2010, 19:41 PM

Muddling into War

John Swift
A major new study charts the origins of the First World War, widely seen by modern historians as the calamity from which all other twentieth century calamities sprang.
Apr 8, 2013, 19:17 PM

Having a Wonderful Time

David McKechnie
Hemingway himself describes the events to his family several weeks later, although in retrospect he would admit not remembering what had happened: “The 227 wounds I got from the trench mortar didn’t hurt a bit at the time, only my feet felt like I had rubber boots full of water on ... I kind of collapsed at the dug out. The Italian I had with me had bled all over my coat and my pants looked like somebody had made current jelly in them and then punched holes to let the pulp out.”
Jun 12, 2012, 13:19 PM

Now About All These Women

Anthony Roche
She had the requisite beauty, but what made her both unique and compelling was that this was joined to a passionate involvement in Irish nationalist politics (his one real rival for Maud, as Yeats accurately recognises). They met, after all, at the house of the Fenian leader John O’Leary; and their relationship throughout the 1890s drew Yeats into an increased involvement in nationalist politics, best incarnated when Maud played the title role in Yeats and Gregory’s Cathleen ni Houlihan of 1902. The third element Yeats was attracted to, in Hassett’s view, was her Ascendancy pedigree, as strongly emerges when he berates her for converting to Catholicism in order to marry Major John McBride.
Sep 1, 2011, 16:03 PM

Swallowed by the Shopping Centre

James Moran
Mar 8, 2008, 20:12 PM

Looking Into The Dark

Gerry Kearns
Yet it is quite inadequate to approach child abuse as a sin; it is a compulsive behaviour, it harms children, and it is a crime. For those who see child abuse as a sin, repentance and absolution might wipe the slate clean, but, turning from the soul to the body, it is evident that a firm promise to sin no more offers little guarantee that the abuser will not in fact offend again. However satisfactory spiritually, the sacrament of confession is ineffective as therapy.
Mar 3, 2012, 12:16 PM

Forbidden Memories

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic
Mar 6, 2008, 22:22 PM

Frank Gallagher and Land Agitation

Niall Meehan
The American Commission on Conditions in Ireland: Interim Report  stated in 1921 that Catholics “were guilty of no reprisals of any sort upon their Protestant neighbours” as a result of ongoing anti-Catholic violence in the North. This part of the report, by Protestant members of the Commission, included the testimony of Wesleyan ministers who “entirely ridiculed the idea that the southern unionists were in any danger from the southern population”. Protestant unionists, who owned “many of the most prosperous businesses in Limerick… were much more fearful of what the Crown forces would do than of what the Sinn Fein forces would do”, according to a Limerick Protestant clergyman.
Sep 1, 2009, 19:24 PM

Challenging the Yanqui

Hugh O'Shaughnessy
The liberators of two hundred years ago had as their sole aim to move out of the commercial and financial shadow of Spain and to trade wherever in the world they liked. It was not their ambition to bring a new life to the indigenous people, the Maya, Aztecs, Incas and Guaranís, who were immediately enslaved on the arrival of the Europeans in the years after 1492.
Sep 6, 2008, 12:13 PM