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

Cold Warrior

Judith Devlin
Sep 8, 2007, 19:52 PM

When The Roof Fell In

Pádraig Murphy
One can say that Gorbachev was not up to the task before him, if only because he did not fully understand it. But, it has to be added, nobody else did either. The Soviet Union had become a sclerotic case where any reform would have threatened the whole structure, because it came too late. Gorbachev was the man who tried to remove a brick from a tumbledown building in order to rebuild it better, only for the whole construction to come down around him.
Mar 9, 2012, 13:19 PM

Three Presences

Denis Donoghue
At this point in his review, Eliot moves toward thinking that to make sense of Yeats you have first to remember that he is an Irishman. To be an Irishman, he thinks, is to be deprived of certain attributes of sensibility, notably of wit, a quality he defined in his essay on Andrew Marvell as featuring “a tough reasonableness beneath the slight lyric grace”.
Jun 7, 2009, 18:56 PM

A Discontinued People

Ion Ionita
The Saxon churches no longer have parishioners and there is not a whisper of German to be heard in the schools, since their pupils and teachers vanished altogether twenty years ago. The prolonged death agony of this community, which started with World War II, ceased abruptly during the early nineties, right after the fall of communism. A single year was all it took to end eight hundred years of history.
Nov 7, 2009, 21:14 PM

Out of the Ashes

Franz Walter
Mar 7, 2008, 11:54 AM

Lifting the Boats

Philip O’Connor
Dec 8, 2007, 00:00 AM

The Child That I Am

Ana Paula Arnaut
Jun 3, 2007, 19:07 PM

Riddled With Light

Michael Lillis
O Death, you have taken Muircheartach from us, / far too late in everyone’s opinion; / snatch Tadhg quickly also to the graveyard, / those two should never be separated … / Hell is not punishment enough for him, / Muircheartach O’Griffin of the wily leaping.
Mar 7, 2009, 16:44 PM

Kindly, Modest and Loveable

Michael D Langan
Jun 5, 2007, 19:12 PM

Dandelions And Small Beer

Eoin Bourke
Over and over again Hutchinson, who always champions the cultures that are forced to the edge by the centres of power, makes the disappearance of the Irish language his theme. In the same poem an old man points to his glass filled with stout and says: ‘Is lú í an Ghaeilge ná an t-uisce sa ngloine sin.’ – ‘Irish is worth less than the water in that glass:’
Sep 2, 2011, 16:12 PM

One Damn Thing After Another

John Paul McCarthy
Burrow includes a particularly bizarre quote from Eric Hobsbawn’s history of the twentieth century, The Age of Extremes, where he argues that nothing vindicated the Marxist economic analysis more than the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989: “[r]arely has there been a clearer example of Marx’s forces of production coming into conflict with the social, institutional and ideological superstructure which had transformed backward agrarian economies into advanced industrial ones, up to the point where they turned from forces into fetters of production.” So this is what finally exposed the chaos inherent in the century’s most powerful Marxist state: Marxism.
Jun 2, 2009, 18:25 PM

Point Zero

Enda O’Doherty
In “Dello scrivere oscuro” (On Obscure Writing), an essay written for the Turin newspaper La Stampa in 1976 and reprinted in the collection Other People’s Trades, Primo Levi wrote: “One should never impose limits or rules on creative writing.” And though he proceeded in the essay that followed to do precisely that, the stricture stands, and is perhaps particularly apposite to writing about the Holocaust.
Dec 3, 2008, 17:04 PM

Island Sickness

Tom Hennigan
Long divided, Argentines finally found national unity under the leadership of the continent’s most murderous regime and its campaign to retake the Malvinas.
Nov 19, 2012, 16:49 PM

Gender, Politics, Solidarity

Gerry Kearns
Judith Butler and Sarah Schulman have each made significant contributions not just to gender studies and political action but to Jewish activist solidarity with the Palestinians.
Mar 9, 2013, 15:47 PM

Oscar and the Irish

Brian Earls
A history of Oscar Wilde’s reputation in Ireland is uplifting and rhetorically adroit. But perhaps we should also ask if it is true.
Jan 27, 2013, 21:48 PM

Man of Constant Sorrow

Ben McGuire
Brian Lynch’s subtle first novel, The Winner of Sorrow, is based on the life of William Cowper, a hugely acclaimed poet in late eighteenth century England whose work has gone into neglect in the last hundred years.
Jan 10, 2007, 18:43 PM

The Thing That Never Was

Frank Callanan
The casting of John Redmond in the role of scapegoat was not without functional advantage in Irish politics. That partition could in some degree be treated as a fait accompli for which responsibility rested with the Irish party in a limited but crucial degree defused the issue in domestic Irish politics. It must be considered to have assisted pro-Treaty Sinn Féin to persuade a majority of the Irish people to accept the Treaty in 1922. The price was a strain of evasion and disingenuousness in the politics of the independent Irish state in relation to the basis for partition and in attitudes towards the Northern Ireland state.
Jun 22, 2012, 21:41 PM

Thoughts from the Top Table

Stephen Wilson
Mar 3, 2007, 20:44 PM

The Barbarians Strike

John Swift
The so-called Night of the Broken Glass, which the Hitler government represented as a spontaneous irruption of anger, was a cynical and carefully choreographed attack on Germany’s Jewish population with the aim of demoralising them and despoiling them of their possessions.
Jan 14, 2013, 11:15 AM

Look West

Pól Ó Muiri
Language organisations that pitch the language to this audience as part of Ireland’s valuable cultural heritage are on a hiding to nothing. The little Englander attitude towards languages – that they are all redundant in the face of English spoken loudly – “Another coffee, per favor!” – is all too common. There is little mileage to be gained from extolling the beauty of language as language when the ultimate badge of identity is the physical commodity – the car, the second home, the designer clothes.
Sep 3, 2008, 11:58 AM