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

    Directions to the Undiscovered Country

    Paul O’Mahoney
    Directions to the Undiscovered Country
    We may, rather prosaically, describe death as an adverse health outcome. Or we may prefer to think the deceased has gone on the way of truth, ‘ar shlí na fírinne’. Whichever view we embrace, it’s something that will happen to us all.
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    Of Gardens and their Spirit

    Brandon C Yen
    Of Gardens and their Spirit
    Apart from the appeal of beauty and the medicinal or alimentary uses of plants, gardens reflect humanity’s attempt to understand its place in the world and to regain an edenic sense of belonging. As such, gardening is a pursuit that crosses national, cultural, ethnic and linguistic boundaries.
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    Our Gods and Theirs

    Patrick Claffey
    Our Gods and Theirs
    Religious belief has the power to define, but also to divide peoples. While it can be seen as in some respects a retrogressive force, there is no basis for the secularist view that it is on the way out. As Régis Debray put it, ‘we can no more disinvent religion than we can the atom bomb’.
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    Once Upon a Space

    Luke Gibbons
    One of the main concerns of Brian O’Doherty’s collected essays is to raise questions about the retreat into subjectivity responsible for the cult of the personality in the art world. In an interview, O’Doherty confessed that he ‘never wished to make art from the degraded slums of my inner life’.
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    The Integrity of the Past

    Donal Moloney
    A US library association has removed a classic children’s author’s name from a prestigious award. The move derives from an ideology that rejects the essential otherness of the past, instead demanding compliance and the burial of ‘outdated attitudes’ so deeply we will never know they existed.
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    The Kingdom of Bohemia

    Conor Linnie
    The Kingdom of Bohemia
    Cypriot restaurants, Italian barbers and French cafés gave London’s Soho a cosmopolitan atmosphere in the 1950s that stood out from the pervasive drabness. Dublin too had its artists’ haunts, with the link between the two cities taking particular form in the friendship between painters Lucian Freud and Patrick Swift.
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    Nose Stuck in a Book

    Siobhán Parkinson
    Nose Stuck in a Book
    A certain kind of child can be sceptical of the benefits of fresh air, sturdy play or hand-me-down versions of femininity or masculinity, especially when a vast and various world is within reach simply through knowing how 26 letters variously combine and which way up to hold a book.
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    Dead Beat Descendants

    John Fleming
    Mark E Smith’s voice sounded like an anti-London weapon. The danger of his Manchester accent was quite distinct from the dense, literary ambition of his words and phrases; distinct too from the prevailing sneer of take-control-of-the-means-of-production punk and post-punk.
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    Art Wars

    Cormac Shine
    With a new TV series and accompanying book, Mary Beard has thrown down a vigorous challenge to the late Kenneth Clark and his view of art. In fact both approaches, almost fifty years apart, have a good deal to recommend them and would benefit from being considered together.
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    Let’s Shop

    Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin
    ‘Consumer culture’ may not be as new as we think it is. Consider the ordinary Venetian oar-maker who left his widow forty-three shirts, twenty-five sheets, sixty-three tablecloths and napkins and 105 pewter plates in 1633.  And what does Harrods’ offering of a hundred models of briar pipe tell us about the consumption patterns of London gentlemen in the 1890s?
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