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

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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The Dublin Vertigo

There are many reasons to change one's name: to keep a step ahead of the law, to be accepted in a different or superior social circle, or, just conceivably, to dump the last politically determined change and return a little closer to one's origins.
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Every Home Should Have One

A new anthology of the writings of the Irish Revival demonstrates that literature is written in a context. But if the ludicrous decision to downgrade the teaching of history in secondary schools is not reversed, similar volumes in the future will be incomprehensible.
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The Making of Britain

In 1603, William Shakespeare was, among other things, an English dramatist. With the accession of James Stuart of Scotland to the English throne he was to have to learn to become a British one.
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Band of Brothers

St Crispin's Day, the day on which the Battle of Agincourt was fought six hundred years ago, was a glorious one for England. Its memory was called upon at another difficult time in the mid-twentieth century, but the Agincourt battle scenes in Laurence Olivier's 'Henry V' were in fact filmed in Ireland.
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The Ferment of the Revival

Ireland in the early 1890s was a country in paralysis, but over the next thirty years it began to move again as ideas bubbled up and were debated in new journals, clubs and societies. A new anthology catches the cultural ferment of that era.
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Ferrante on Austen

The Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has written a sharp analysis of the moral world of Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility', though her theories on its anonymous publication may tell us more about Ferrante's motives than Austen's.
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Christ Never Made It As Far As Here

Exiled to the remote south by Mussolini's fascist regime, painter, writer and medical doctor Carlo Levi found there a peasant society that had apparently remained untouched by civilisation or modernity.
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The Consolations of Coltrane

A new novel by Kevin Stevens tells of the frustrations and confusions of adolescence, the precarious position of immigrants in an indifferent or hostile host society and the consolations of friendship, love and music.
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Turned Out Nice Again

Artists and painters have long been fascinated by the weather and have not ceased to be so even in an era where mystery and religious speculation have largely moved over for science. Our tendency to worship nature suggests a question: is God the thing we see when we look up?
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A Literary Terrorist

One critic has compared reading Charles Maturin’s Melmoth to climbing Mount Everest, yet the novel continues to appeal, in part perhaps because of its role in creating a genre that is still potent in global culture –in Hollywood movies, popular music and manga animation.
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Don't understand, just be afraid

After graduating from Columbia, John Berryman headed to Cambridge. 'Yeats, Yeats, I'm coming! It's me!' a later poem has him exclaiming from the ship.
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