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

Not reading but yawning

Well of course we all love books. There’s absolutely nothing like a book. Nothing so gripping. Nothing so enthralling. So why do I sometimes fall asleep in my armchair?
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Vanishing Dublin

A beautifully illustrated book published in a small edition in 1966 featuring descriptions of numerous streets and lanes in the capital has become a collector’s item. In Stephen Street the street sellers called out ‘Some good fish here!’, perhaps leaving open the possibility that there were some not so good too.
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‘The Sentiments of my Heart’

John Rocque’s Dublin map offered an image of harmony, order and industry. It lied of course. But George II was so taken by it he hung it in his apartments. Perhaps on sleepless nights, Peter Sirr speculates, he climbed out of bed to count his way down Sackville Street or follow his little finger down the lanes of the old city.
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Stockholm or Silicon Valley?

Childcare costs in Ireland absorb 28 per cent of disposable income; the European average is 12 per cent. We seem to be modelling our economy on the US, where there is no paid maternity leave. As increasing numbers of Irish people feel the squeeze, something is likely to give politically.
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The Politics of English Nostalgia

Ireland has a tradition of seeking help from the Continent, in the form of soldiers, swords, cannon - generically fíon Spainneach. It’s not surprising that we are comfortable in the Union. For the British, where sovereignty has been long attested by ‘divers sundry old authentic histories’, it’s a different matter.
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You can keep your Gucci loafers

A fifteenth century English treatise loudly complained of the tricky trade practices of foreigners and argued for a protectionist regime under which home industry would thrive. The future would be bright, since England dealt in solid goods everyone wanted while the foreigners sold only ‘fripperies, niffles and trifles’.
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Rooney and MacLaverty in International Dublin award shortlist

Two novels by Irish authors, 'Conversations with Friends' by Sally Rooney and 'Midwinter Break' by Bernard MacLaverty, will compete with eight others from France, Pakistan, the UK and the USA for a prize that is worth €100,000 to the winner.
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Anderlecht, Nine More

They say that keeping a pet and learning to look after it ‑ even experiencing its death ‑ can teach a child valuable lessons. So too can following a football team. It teaches you that though sometimes in life you can win you can just as easily lose. Oh how you can lose.
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Take Her Up The Mendo

A huge influx of beggars displaced from the land frightened 19th century Dubliners: the benevolent were imposed upon, the modest shocked, the reflecting grieved and the timid alarmed, one observer wrote. In 1818 the Mendicity Institution in Hawkins Street was opened to deal with the problem.
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The Poor Man At His Gate

The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them high and lowly, and ordered their estate. So the hymn went, and many in nineteenth century Ireland believed it. But not everyone.
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How to Make a Killing

People will tell you it’s hard to make a fortune. Don’t listen to them. They’re the losers. They don’t know what they’re talking about. All you have to do to become seriously rich is follow three simple rules.
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Forthcoming Events and News

A regularly updated diary of events of literary and artistic interest and news from the publishing and arts worlds
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Housing Crisis

Ireland is dependent on inward investment, which is hostile to regulation of the market. At the same time our history is one of above average social integration and consensus. With the housing crisis, which will not be solved without huge state intervention, these two elements are headed for a clash.
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Digging In

An architectural competition for a design for a new church in Clonskeagh in Dublin attracted 101 entries. The winning entry, from a young architect with the OPW, was modernist in style. But the archbishop of Dublin wasn’t having any of it. Instead a ‘monstrous barn’ was built.
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WS Merwin 1927-2019

The much-decorated American poet – he won two Pulitzers and a National Book Award – was known for conveying ‘in the sweet simplicity of grounded language a sense of the self where it belongs, floating between heaven, earth and underground’.
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Ernest Blythe and the Irish Language

Ernest Blythe, a south Antrim Protestant, appeared as the only Gaeilgeoir in his parish in the 1911 census. In this heavily Church of Ireland district, even the McCarthys and the Dohertys were Protestant.
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What about us?

In an international survey of outstanding cultural achievement, can the author make judgments about what is excellent and must be included and what can be left out? Or should criteria of proportionality, even-handedness and, above all, inclusivity come into play?
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Running on Empty

Asked why they are leaving, the Venezuelans crossing into Colombia reply that it’s because at home there is nothing – non hay nada. Venezuela’s collapse was not caused, as some have claimed, by the US, yet perhaps it is US backing for the opposition that most stands in the way of resolution.
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Dublin honours classic O’Brien trilogy

In 1960 the Irish state banned Edna O’Brien’s novel ‘The Country Girls’. By that time O’Brien was living in England, where her books did not escape moral scrutiny and attempts at censorship either. Now she is equally honoured in her lands of birth and of adoption.
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Winding Back the Clock, Part I

Hungary proposes tackling population decline by offering tax-free status to mothers who produce four or more children. Is this a practical idea? Or is the thinking that underscores it perhaps just another facet of the conservative social vision of a defiantly confident traditionalist politics?
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