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

John Ashbery: The Syntax of Time

What marked John Ashbery out from most of his contemporaries was his extraordinary immersion in syntax as the prime organising force of his verse. Many readers noted the parallels between his mature writings and the late novels of Henry James.
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Eddy and Me

The success of a recent novel set in the depressed northern French region of Picardy reminds an Irish writer of her own novel set in the same village and focusing on the experience of a young Irish girl at the end of the 1950s. Not so much has changed in the culture in the intervening decades.
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The Law's Delays

Charles Dickens was no great admirer of the practices of the legal system. Most notably in 'Bleak House', he exposed its inefficiencies and injustices. That was then of course, but in many respects the law today is still Dickensian.
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Bright Young Things

The world of the wealthy young people who made up English high society in the middle of the last century was frequently a gay enough place. But it wasn't a great place to be gay.
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Tzvetan Todorov: 1939-2017

The Franco-Bulgarian thinker and writer had a long career as literary theorist, historian of ideas, political thinker and art historian. He retained throughout his life a deep commitment to democracy and a free and tolerant society.
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A Modest Proposal

In petitioning for a second wife, George Orwell did not oversell the goods, noting that he was quite old and a bit of a crock. Still, surely someone somewhere must have wanted to become the widow of a significant literary man.
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In the Bleak Midwinter

In the winter of 1784 in East Hampshire, it got so cold, the naturalist Gilbert White observed, that the cats became electrified.
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John Montague: 1929-2016

The New York-born poet wrote a moving poem of memory of the small place in which he was brought up by relations in a remote part of Co Tyrone.
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Ah Go On

Samuel Beckett was famous for his gloominess, but also on many occasions seemed able to express it in a way that makes us laugh. Is there a contradiction here, or not?
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Singing Schubert

There are times when interpreters should realise that explication is not needed. The composer and poet we exist to serve have told us what the message is to be. Our role is simply to deliver it.
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Under The Weather

So, it's autumn. No need to be depressed. There are apples, blackberries, damsons and bright, golden woodlands to be enjoyed for a few months yet before winter draws in.
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Ideal Homes

A distant prospect of a life of ease in the Big House is intoxicating to many. Nevertheless, not everything is necessarily as wonderful as it seems and the servants in particular can be a frightful problem.
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Imre Kertész: 1929-2016

The Hungarian writer and Nobel prizewinner Imre Kertész, who has died aged eighty-six, was deported to Auschwitz aged fourteen. Pondering on that experience, and more broadly on totalitarianism, was to provide him with the material for his life’s literary work.
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Mothers and Fathers

Creative writers would seem to be well equipped to muse on certain lives they cannot have known. And why not the mysterious lives of their own parents, or that portion of those lives which occurred before the writing offspring were even born?
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Umberto Eco: 1932-2016

The eminent Italian novelist, critic, journalist and philosopher of books and libraries has read his last. Though a preeminent man of books, he was rather relaxed about the fact that there were things he hadn't read.
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Gie fools their silk, and knaves their wine

At the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth century many people were beginning to take the measure of the parasitical landowning classes. None put it all quite so succinctly as Robert Burns, born on this day in 1759.
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Can spring be far away?

When icicles hang by the wall and you stop by woods on a snowy evening, it's time for a list of the best poetic celebrations of winter.
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We Three Kings

January 6th: a day to eat king cakes, for women to sit back and put their feet up - sometimes - and for well-meaning men to get their comeuppance
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Costa Section Winners Announced

Like Floyd Mayweather Junior in boxing, Costa poetry winner Don Paterson is not just technically immaculate; he hurts, hitting hard and gifted with a true fighter's armoury of punches.
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Upper and Not So Upper

Nancy Mitford was one of the famous Mitfords. Her sister Unity fell in love with Hitler and shot herself when war broke out. Nancy's sparkling and mildly satirical novels of class have been reissued by Penguin with new covers that can only be described as spiffing.
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