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

The Opening to Others

Manus Charleton
Believers make use of  supernatural stories to give detailed content to and make more tangible the sense of openness to the transcendent, openness to strangers.
Jan 27, 2013, 12:53 PM

States and Nations

Bill Kissane
Yet differences also stand out. In Northern Ireland Catholic political disaffection was reinforced by material inequality. Protestant alienation from the southern state’s Catholic ethos was mitigated by a relatively strong position in commercial and professional life.
Jun 22, 2012, 13:48 PM

The Trials of Ulysses

Joseph M Hassett
John Butler Yeats recognised in Joyce “an intense feeling for what is actual and true” and saw that “[t]he whole movement against Joyce and his terrible veracity, naked and unashamed, has its origin in the desire of people to live comfortably, and, that they may live comfortably, to live superficially”.
Jun 12, 2012, 13:12 PM

The Inishowen Oracle

Tom Wall
John Toland, born into Gaelic-speaking north Donegal in the late seventeenth century, became an important controversialist, deist, pantheist and passionate anti-cleric.
Mar 25, 2013, 14:16 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

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

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

Getting To The Triangle

Liam Hennessy
Citing mostly late nineteenth century and early/mid-twentieth century clinicians, he argues that there are only three mutually exclusive pathological mental structures: neurosis, psychosis and perversion. The difference between neurosis and psychosis lies in the degree of certainty with which beliefs are held by the patient. Neurotics tend to doubt, psychotics are more certain.
Jun 22, 2012, 13:42 PM

Keepable Sentences

Kevin Stevens
An interview with American novelist Kent Haruf, whose stories of the high plains of Colorado, with their plain but perfectly crafted style and exacting verisimilitude, achieve a mythic dimension rare in contemporary fiction
Mar 25, 2013, 14:33 PM

The Big D

Seamus O’Mahony
Christopher Hitchens was famously sceptical of the claims of religious thinkers, yet faced with dying he exhibited a defiant faith in the capacities of medical science to block the course of nature, a faith not sustained by much evidence.
Apr 8, 2013, 19:21 PM

Fighting With Shadows

Brian Earls
This equation of the county with mindless violence and chaos has long since been forgotten, and Tipperary has become one of the most respectable of Irish counties, because qualities which Victorian commentators asserted were intrinsic to the Irish character were not but had their origin in the landlord-tenant relationship and faded with the waning of landlord power.
Jun 22, 2012, 10:03 AM

The Truth Teller

Carol Taaffe
Casement’s achievement was to observe and to testify, proving that the gross myths and exaggerations reaching Europe about these places were not gross myths and exaggerations at all. There is some irony in that. The cruelty which this novel underlines is that the life of Roger Casement -  a great documentarian, a man who exposed atrocious truths -   was to become forever synonymous with myth and distortion.
Jun 22, 2012, 09:28 AM

The History of the Last Atrocity

John M Regan
In 1920, as again in 1970, the British constitution shattered in Ireland, where servants of the Crown resorted to extra-legal means –torture, reprisal, murder   to restore order. It is only by understanding those contexts that we begin to make sense of, as opposed to describing, the terrors accompanying collapses. The victims’ stories are always heartrending and should be explored. But devoid of context, biographies say little that is historical, as opposed to newsworthy.
Jun 22, 2012, 12:00 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

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

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

They fly so high ... They fade and die

Michael O'Sullivan
As we try to recover from the bubble and bust we might ask whether we as a nation take more risks than others, or to what extent gambling is an entrenched characteristic of the Irish.
Jan 14, 2013, 10:42 AM

Tickled To Death

Enda O'Doherty

"The barons of the media, with their red-topped assassins, are the biggest beasts in the modern jungle. They have no predators. They are untouchable. They laugh at the law; they sneer at Parliament. They have the power to hurt us, and they do, with gusto and precision, with joy and criminality. Prime ministers quail before them, and that is how they like it."

Jun 22, 2012, 21:50 PM

A House Built on Sand

Philip O’Connor and Pat Muldowney
The RTÉ programme ignored most of the relevant documentary sources. It later claimed that its argument – that the Coolacrease incident was sectarian murder in pursuance of a land grab in a context of widespread sectarian ethnic cleansing by the Irish independence movement – was proven by Land Commission documents which it had in its possession. The authors of Coolacrease examined the Land Commission records and there are no such documents in existence. The programme’s thesis is wholly unsupported by the available evidence.
Sep 2, 2009, 19:48 PM

‘A Full Life, A Good End’

Liam Hennessy
Whatever about questions of mandate or democratic legitimacy, the bravery of the insurgents who fought in 1916, and of those who were executed for their role as leaders of the Rising, is beyond dispute.
Jan 14, 2013, 10:59 AM