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

The Word as Trampoline

Maeve O’Sullivan
James Finnegan is a poet concerned with ideas and with ecological matters. His observant eye can zoom in to pick up details about birds, dogs, cats, horses, reindeer and even penguins. There is some dark humour at work too, as in an imagined reversal of the human-pet relationship.
Dec 10, 2018, 10:15 AM

Love in the Time of Austerity

Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado
An artful, nuanced take on life in post-Tiger Ireland, Sally Rooney’s Normal People is a breathtaking reflection on love and unequal exchange between two people seeking equilibrium in a time of perilous instability.
Dec 6, 2018, 18:14 PM

High Jinks and Down to Earth

Gerard Smyth
A poetry collection by broadcaster John Kelly is flush with acute observation and understanding, as well as sparkling felicities of imaginative detail and linguistic invention. The references range from popular culture to the natural world, with the poems marked by both gravity and wit.
Dec 6, 2018, 18:07 PM

A Book of Discomfort

Enda Wyley
Many people say they turn to poetry for comfort. They would be advised to avoid Jessica Traynor’s work, where death and the dead are a restless, persistent force and witches direct vicious and violent magic at men in payment for their transgressions.
Dec 6, 2018, 17:32 PM

Mystics and Villagers

Thomas Goggin
The Indian poems of Gabriel Rosenstock’s latest collection are populated by saints and stics and interspersed with allusions that reinforce an image of timelessness and transcendence, many exploring the no-man’s-land separating the known and the metaphysical world.
Dec 6, 2018, 17:25 PM

Charging Ahead

Ronan Sheehan
Kevin Kiely’s poetic aim is to manufacture insight, create a visionary moment, by hurling the elements of language together, by creating a linguistic explosion. This system works often enough to make the effort worthwhile, and more than that, a pleasure, rewarding.
Dec 6, 2018, 17:19 PM

Dublin in the Wars

Padraig Yeates
Before 1914 recruitment to the British army from Belfast was often less than half that of Dublin, although the Northern city had a larger population. But Belfast was an industrial powerhouse, not a sleepy provincial backwater dependent on the production of beer and biscuits.
Dec 6, 2018, 15:37 PM

A Girl, Undaunted

Patricia Craig
A body in the coal hole of the Carlton Club; a strangulation with a Hermes scarf: Kate Atkinson has written a sophisticated and witty espionage novel which plays with the genre’s conventions while being partially based on a WWII spy’s memoir, a book with an unusual Irish dimension.
Dec 6, 2018, 15:29 PM

Flying the Net

Joseph M Hassett
Wilde, Yeats and Joyce were important to each other, and the importance of their fathers was not lost on the sons either. Yeats later wrote that Wilde ‘knew how to keep our elders in their place’. For all three writers, the appropriate place, if one wanted to breathe, was somewhere else.
Dec 6, 2018, 15:11 PM

Paris Destroyed, Paris Surviving

Seamus Deane
Paris has always been a moveable feast. There are many people, Parisians and others, who think the city was destroyed long before Hitler ordered it to be burned in 1944 and others who think it has been repeatedly destroyed since, in the name of renovation, development, restoration.
Dec 6, 2018, 14:34 PM

The Sorry Earthmen of Bohemia

Alena Dvořáková
Three recently published Czech science fiction novels – all representations of worlds that by definition do not exist –are nevertheless best understood as a more or less realistic reflection of recent Czech history and politics with a collectivist moral, albeit not a straightforward one.
Dec 6, 2018, 14:20 PM

The Return to Helicon

Aidan O’Malley
There has been a long tradition of classical rewritings in Ireland, with a significant surge from about 1970, when the last generation to undergo compulsory Classics at school found in Greek myth a valuable resource to consider the troubles and conflicts of their own era.
Dec 6, 2018, 14:12 PM

Starving Them Out

Martin Tyrrell
The naval blockade of Germany during the First World War is a subject that is little treated today. Yet estimates of civilian deaths caused by it range from around 400,000 to more than three-quarters of a million. Not until there were German signatures on the Treaty of Versailles was it fully lifted.
Dec 6, 2018, 13:54 PM

Counsel for Humanity

Pádraig McAuliffe
Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin, two of the fathers of modern international law, spent significant time in what is now the Ukrainian city of Lviv. A cultured oasis of Habsburg culture before the First World War, the city would change hands eight times between 1914 and 1944.
Dec 6, 2018, 13:48 PM

Once Upon a Space

Luke Gibbons
One of the main concerns of Brian O’Doherty’s collected essays is to raise questions about the retreat into subjectivity responsible for the cult of the personality in the art world. In an interview, O’Doherty confessed that he ‘never wished to make art from the degraded slums of my inner life’.
Dec 6, 2018, 13:37 PM

An Irish Impresario

Martin Greene
Augustin Daly was for thirty years the proprietor-manager of one of New York’s most successful theatre companies. Shaw castigated Daly for his failure to embrace the Ibsenite problem play in the 1890s but recognised that the plays he did produce were advanced for their time.
Dec 6, 2018, 13:29 PM

The Integrity of the Past

Donal Moloney
A US library association has removed a classic children’s author’s name from a prestigious award. The move derives from an ideology that rejects the essential otherness of the past, instead demanding compliance and the burial of ‘outdated attitudes’ so deeply we will never know they existed.
Dec 6, 2018, 13:08 PM