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

    Not all Beef and Ale

    John McCourt
    Anthony Trollope has the reputation of being a conventional and comfortable writer, valued by various Tory prime ministers as a purveyor of enjoyable light political intrigue but in his Irish novels he emerges as a somewhat more complex and double-sided figure.

    Wrong Train, Right Station

    Sean Sheehan
    William Blake placed Dante alongside the prophets of the Old Testament, Homer and Shakespeare as an embodiment of poetic genius and he worked studiously on a series of drawings illustrating episodes from the Divine Comedy in the last years of life.

    Invitation to the Dance

    Kevin Stevens
    Over twenty-four years, starting in 1951, Anthony Powell wrote a remarkable series of a dozen novels exploring English upper class and bohemian life from soon after the First World War to the 1970s through the themes of war, love, art, class, family, politics and death.

    The Green Fuse

    Billy Mills
    The Green Fuse
    Dylan Thomas read and learned from Auden, as they both read and learned from Eliot. However, where Auden saw the neo-Augustan classicist in the older poet, Thomas could see ‘the skull beneath the skin’ and shared Eliot’s fascination with the irrational and grotesque.

    Pay Attention

    Lia Mills
    Ali Smith has written a daring and brilliantly successful novel about art and language, the making and understanding of art, and of life. It’s about attention and engagement and how to stay awake in the world and in life, which will be over sooner than we think.

    Radio Ga Ga

    Seán Fox
    The critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin’s broadcasts for children blur the lines between seriousness and playfulness. For Benjamin, canonically complex and highbrow thinking can and should be regarded in certain instances as child’s play.

    The Astonishment of Insight

    Gerard Smyth
    A major new anthology of war poetry covers a range of conflicts including the First World War, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the Vietnam War and Ireland’s ‘Troubles’, in both their twentieth century phases.

    The Doubter

    Antony Tatlow
    Previous biographies have called almost everything about Bertolt Brecht, including his authorship of the works attributed to him, into doubt, while political changes have seemed to diminish his importance. But a new life, revealing a new Brecht, reasserts his importance.

    The Uses of Art

    John Fanning
    Alain de Botton has been the recipient of much sniffy condescension, being characterised as a chiropractor of the soul. But this is somewhat unfair: he is not trying to make us happy but to help us to understand ourselves better, and he sees art and philosophy as allies in this pursuit.

    Mister Perfect

    Michael Hinds
    The frequently quoted descriptions of Michael Donaghy as a modern metaphysical may make prospective readers nervous; yet in the main there is nothing ostentatiously intellectual about his work. Rather, the abiding impression is that a poem is a minor fuss worth making.