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

    Our Language, Their Babble

    Michael Cronin
    Our Language, Their Babble
    German concentration and extermination camps were run by the speakers of one language but inhabited by speakers of many others. Interpretation became necessary to both sides. Linguistic skills helped some inmates to survive, but the deployment of these skills could involve a cost.
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    The High Deeds of Fionn

    Síle Ní Mhurchú
    The High Deeds of Fionn
    The historical institution of the ‘fían’, on which the Fianna tales are based, provided an outlet for young free-born men, allowing them to improve their hunting and fighting skills. It was, however, seen by the church as a disruptive force, given to robbery and plundering.
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    The Way It Is

    Jon Smith
    The Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard has admitted that he dislikes plots and feels oppressed by fictions. Writing, for him, is rather ‘a matter of trying somehow to reach the real life, how it tastes and feels. And there’s no story in real life. More than anything, stories stand in the way.’
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    The Republican Journey

    Thomas Fitzgerald
    A new study presents a largely sympathetic history of the Provisional Republican Movement as it has gradually moved away from violence and increased its electoral base. It also gives space – and sympathy – to the views of the dissidents, which is both a strength and a weakness.
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    So Many Haters

    Michael Hinds
    Plato did not hate poetry, though he wished to ban poets from the ideal Republic. In such a state you would not want to let it hold sway, even if in a real one it has its critical power and function. In an ideal Republic of course, you would not feel like a drink after a day’s work ...
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    Picking Up The Pieces

    Joe Breen
    Bruce Springsteen’s memoir pulses with intensity and insight born of hours on the psychiatrist’s couch, covering his blue-collar Catholic background, the gruelling tour schedules and recording sessions, the initial paltry returns, then the king’s ransom when luck and labour chime.
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    Ordinary Brutalities

    Gavin Foster
    A new study of the Civil War period argues that intimidation was a commonplace weapon deliberately employed by republicans, their supporters, and others to expel vulnerable ‘out-groups’. But how such victimised groups should be defined or categorised is not always clear.
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    Castaways

    Tom Wall
    Many young Irishmen went to sea on British vessels in the 1930s. After the outbreak of war some were captured by the Germans, imprisoned and often harshly treated. Though eventually efforts were made to help them, for a long time they seemed to be an embarrassment to the Irish government.
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    The View from the Veranda

    Eoin Dillon
    Africa may be said to have two public spheres. In the air-conditioned office visiting officials from the World Bank or the IMF conduct their business. But the veranda is where most Africans do business, transact politics and live their lives. The elite is comfortable in both spaces.
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    A Study of Scarlet

    Catherine Marshall
    Michel Pastoureau’s account of the history of the colour red is in many respects fascinating. But what worked well for his previous studies of black, blue and green comes up a little short for red, a colour which is oceanic and in whose multiplicity of meanings one might well drown.
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