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

    The Cat’s Pounce

    Catherine Marshall
    The Cat’s Pounce
    Linda Nochlin considers one interpretation after another of Courbet’s ‘The Painter’s Studio’. Teasing her prey, she draws out successive meanings, delivering stylish and brilliant asides on the social, intellectual, political and art-historical context, until finally she moves in for the kill.

    Fit to Print

    Maurice Walsh
    The catastrophic fall from a golden age when reporters valiantly pursued truth to the web’s current indifference to falsehood is a favourite journalistic trope. But the moral decline goes back a long time, to when newspapers first embraced ‘lifestyle’, abetting the transformation of citizens into consumers.

    The Spring-Time of the World

    Brandon Yen
    In 1792 Tom Paine wrote that whatever shape summer might take it was ‘not difficult to perceive that the spring is begun’. If the French Revolution did not fulfil the radicals’ hopes, these early years left an enduring legacy to Wordsworth, making him the great poet of feeling and hope.

    Rory of the Hill

    Kerron Ó Luain
    Ribbonism was more resourceful and endured longer as a tradition than any other Irish secret society during the nineteenth century. With their Catholic and conspiratorial composition, the Ribbon societies played constantly on the minds of British officials and much of Protestant Ireland.

    That Damnable Invention

    James McNaney
    The British feel a certain detachment from the North, born of distance. At worst this is antipathy: Diarmaid Ferriter cites Thatcher’s famous disdain for both sides. Even when Conservatives attempt a revival of the old ‘conservative and unionist’ tradition, it comes across as a bit clunky.

    What Was Lost

    Jim Smyth
    ‘Declinist’ accounts of English history are not always consistent, but the outlines are clear: a once ‘organic’ community succumbed to commerce, scientific rationalism and, most corrosively, industrialisation. A vital common culture gave way to a cheapened mass society.

    Sipping from the Honey-Pot

    Fergus O’Ferrall
    Oliver Goldsmith was ‘an enlightened anti-imperialist’ grappling with the emerging modernity of the industrial and agricultural revolutions. His ethical universalism did not preclude cultural diversity or respect for diverse cultures existing on their own terms.

    Prologue to Forgetting

    Sarah O’Brien
    The willingness to dream, to give herself over to a flood of memories is ultimately what distinguishes the inevitably innocent memoir of Nora O’Connor, who left Ireland in 1907, from Ian Maleney’s masterfully doubtful essays. For at the base of Maleney’s anxiety is a mistrust of memory.

    Taking Liberties

    Ross Moore
    Ciaran Carson’s work has developed from the well-crafted poetry of his first collection to the digressive, long-lined collection The Irish For No. His explorations of liberty in The Twelfth of Never took their own liberties with temporal, conceptual and even grammatical sense.