"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

The Sea of Anecdotes

Brian Earls
While this merriment was afoot, I lay on my bunk straining to understand, and to be admitted to some small share of the pleasure which the rest of the company evidently derived from the recitals. At first the rapid flow of speech and varying voices and styles proved impenetrable. The joy of Russian jokes.
Dec 2, 2010, 19:07 PM

Does Europe Exist?

Enda O’Doherty
Does culture reside only in particular nations and national traditions or can we speak of a European culture? And if we can, what might it be and how can we best preserve it?
Jun 30, 2013, 23:50 PM

What’s funny?

Máirtín Coilféir
There have been many attempts to define the essence of humour but it seems to be a little too complex and wide-ranging to be captured by any single theory.
Sep 9, 2013, 11:11 AM

Ulysses and Africa

Sean Sheehan
A new book seeks to consider writers' responses to Homer from an anticolonial or postcolonialist perspective.
Sep 22, 2013, 15:44 PM

The Curator of Chiaroscuro

Sean Sheehan
Sebastião Salgado’s latest book of photographs represents nature more as a New Age dream of harmony rather than the random mayhem and violent contingency it actually is.
Jun 16, 2013, 13:03 PM

Street Smart

Fintan Vallely
Lyrics have been defined as short poems written to the accompaniment of a musical instrument, but should Paul Muldoon’s lyrics be judged primarily as poems or as songs?
Apr 22, 2013, 14:16 PM

As Fresh as a Cliché

Paula McGrath

We strive for originality, but perhaps old phrases should, like Mae West’s discarded lovers, be given a new chance with someone else.
Jan 7, 2013, 18:51 PM

Soundtrack to the Century

Kevin Stevens

For fifty years, Duke Ellington was America’s most important and innovative musical figure, achieving distinction as a composer, arranger, songwriter, bandleader and pianist, and writing and producing timeless music of every kind.
Jan 14, 2013, 19:19 PM

An Awfully Big Adventure

Enda O'Doherty

Patrick Leigh Fermor was a man of great talents who inspired affection and deep friendship among those who knew him and who was fortunate in the friends he made.
Jan 29, 2013, 19:31 PM

Takes All Kinds

Sean Sheehan
Herodotus was intensely interested in all forms of oddity or unfamiliarity, whether relating to human behaviour or geographical curiosity. Everything is a fish that comes into his net, yet he writes without any assumption of cultural superiority attaching to his status as a Greek.
Dec 1, 2013, 20:24 PM


Angela Bourke
A woman reading is in a world of her own, not in the world of others managing or nurturing, where some think she belongs.
Nov 30, 2012, 20:50 PM

Noises from Beneath

Angela Nagle
Cyberutopians promised us the Internet would bring the end of hierarchies, industry, nationalism and gender oppression. But its political claims have proven to be largely empty while it has continued to spawn a particularly vicious male geek culture of obscenity and misogyny
Dec 1, 2013, 23:39 PM

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.
Dec 15, 2013, 21:53 PM

The Last Post

Michael Cronin
Animals have been divided into those we watch TV with, those we eat and those we’re scared of. If ‘becoming animal’ is understood in Hiberno-English as an unfortunate consequence of excessive alcohol consumption, here it is rather a way of perceiving that we exist on a planet that we share with innumerable other species that we continue to destroy in vast numbers.
Mar 11, 2014, 21:14 PM

Hoops of Steel

Chris Lawn
At a time when people feel they need social media to keep track of the number of their so-called friends and ‘followers’, a philosophical study invites us to ask ‘who is my friend?’ and reflect on what quality of friendship qualifies as ‘real’.
Apr 22, 2014, 07:58 AM

Ahead of the Curve

Peter Brooke
The Vorticist painter Wyndham Lewis believed that art best serves human personality by being impersonal, by affirming space and the full maturity of the object, fixity, against the fleeting moment, the accidental by-products of a process.
May 5, 2014, 18:07 PM

The People’s Music

Jeremy Kearney
The British folk music scene began to thrive through its extensive club circuit in the 1950s and gave a platform to many Irish singers. It was seldom without tension, however, between purists like Ewan MacColl and others who put greater stress on enjoyment.
Jun 2, 2014, 16:59 PM

The Modernist Moment

Tom Hennigan
Brazil, in the mid-twentieth century, saw a spectacular flourishing of architecture and town planning, associated with names like Niemeyer and Costa. But since then chaos and venality have returned, with builders rather than architects in the driving seat and recent hopes that the World Cup could be a game-changer disappointed.
Jun 2, 2014, 17:20 PM

Epiphanies and Voids

Pádraig Murphy
Attention to the apparently insignificant is a particular feature of Japanese art. It is an aspect of Zen’s emphasis on giving attention not to theory or to abstract truth, but to concrete, existing reality, the here and now.
Aug 31, 2014, 14:54 PM

God is Dead, Long Live Religion

Matthew Parkinson-Bennett
According to Terry Eagleton, the history of the modern age is among other things the search for a viceroy for God. Yet it has been difficult for any substitute to emulate religion’s success, to bridge the gap, as it does, between high and low, elite and masses, rarefied ideas and common practice.
Aug 31, 2014, 15:16 PM