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

Well Bless Your Heart!

Maura O’Kiely
If you want to be a Southern lady and reach the summit of flowery femininity and thoughtful, gracious manners, there are a few things to master: how to bestow a sharp-edged compliment and when not to wear pearls. But above all never be seen chewing gum, because that’s just cheap.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:44 AM

Collateral Damage

Enda O’Doherty
Thomas Niedermayer was a German factory manager whose plant brought much-needed jobs to West Belfast. A new book tells the story of his death at the hands of the IRA, and places it in the context of an armed campaign which was certain it would prevail but eventually had to settle for a lot less.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:38 AM

Waiting to live

Dan A O’Brien
The Nigerian-Irish writer Melatu Uche Okorie writes from a situation between two worlds, the migrant’s ever-present dilemma of here and there, but with the added complication that many of her stories are set in that particular purgatory the direct provision centre.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:33 AM

Endings and Beginnings

Enda Wyley
Patrick Deeley’s poems highlight mankind’s wilful destruction of the natural world, and yet he is also able to see the lark, hatching a clutch of scribble-marked eggs, in the rusted exhaust of an old tractor in a sawmill.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:26 AM

Putting Flesh on the Archive

Keith Payne
In a world of interminable newsfeeds and yet also of historical amnesia, there is perhaps no more defiant an act than remembering. Rachael Hegarty’s thirty-three ballads give each of the victims of the Monaghan and Dublin bombings of 1974 a poem where they can live again.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:20 AM

With Cú Chulainn, against democracy

Proinsias Ó Drisceoil
Standish O’Grady wanted the Ascendancy – both gentry and aristocracy ‑ to take on a role of leadership in Ireland, modelling themselves on the Gaelic heroes. Later he was to embrace syndicalism ‑ anything to block an emerging democracy with peasant proprietorship at its core.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:09 AM

Out of the Frying Pan

Tony Flynn
Kevin grows up in a harsh world. His father died when he was just four, and he can see his brother being dragged into a life of crime, yet for all this, he has a grounding in empathy that protects him. He may be in a hot spot, but he will not in the end succumb to the fire.
Jul 4, 2019, 11:04 AM

Alarms and Excursions

Sean Sheehan
John Ruskin may be little known today, but his warnings about the effects of industrial pollution in the Victorian age still read well, while his writings and observations on art on his trips to Italy, and particularly Venice and Padua, have been hugely influential.
Jul 4, 2019, 09:34 AM

The Valley Has Decided

Farrel Corcoran
Big tech sees a future in which ‘applied utopistics’ will monitor, and monetise, every human activity. With their deep pockets and considerable political clout, nothing will stand in their way, not governments or regulators, and certainly not any old-fashioned notions of privacy or human dignity.
Jul 4, 2019, 09:28 AM

On the Side of the Angels

Patricia Craig
Polly Devlin was raised in rural Tyrone, on the shores of Lough Neagh. But at twenty she was wafted into British high society by way of a job with ‘Vogue’. Her latest, splendidly written collection, treads judiciously between candour and reticence in what adds up to a kind of oblique autobiography.
Jul 4, 2019, 09:22 AM

Think first, then act

Eddie Lewis
It is unlikely that we will find any single solution to Ireland’s housing crisis. The aim of the decision-makers in the short term should be to do what they can to manage the current crisis while at the same time preparing a way for a longer-term reform of the housing system.
Jul 4, 2019, 09:15 AM

Enter MacMorris

Patricia Palmer, David J Baker, Willy Maley
A new project underwritten by the Irish Research Council seeks to fill in blanks in our knowledge of early modern Ireland and to provide a full-screen, surround-sound account of a rich and complex culture on the brink of transformation in all its linguistic and cultural complexity.
Jul 4, 2019, 09:08 AM

Don’t Look Up

Kevin Duff
A resort to high-rise has been suggested as a means to solve Dublin’s planning and housing problems. But there are better solutions, including the conversion of free space above city centre shops and the reconfiguration, for greater population density, of the twentieth century suburbs.
Jul 4, 2019, 08:55 AM

The Limits of Empathy

Henry Patterson
A historian specialising in political violence argues that understanding terrorism requires empathetic analysis. But scepticism over the claims of the creators of victims to be ‘working for peace’ need not derive from a desire for vengeance: it could as easily signal a respect for truth.
Jul 4, 2019, 08:50 AM

Life Without the Neighbours

Daniel Keohane
Brexit is potentially a triple existential challenge for Ireland: for the peace process, for UK-Ireland relations and for our EU membership. This combination of factors might help explain why the other EU governments have not ‘thrown Ireland under a bus’ despite all the noise at Westminster.
Jul 4, 2019, 08:45 AM

The Polariser

Frank Callanan, Niall Meehan, Philip O’Connor
He was the most important Irish intellectual of the twentieth century, though he got many things wrong, some of them in the pursuit of consistency. Or he was a renegade who went back on every progressive view he had championed in his earlier life. Two views of Conor Cruise O’Brien heard at a recent debate.
Jul 4, 2019, 08:29 AM

We’re All Hot Now

Caroline Hurley
In April 1986, reactor No 4 at Chernobyl in north Ukraine exploded, spewing radioactive flames and gases high into the air. An estimated dispersal of 50 million curies of radiation was later revised upward to 200 million, equivalent to releases from four bombs like the one dropped on Hiroshima.
Jul 4, 2019, 08:12 AM

The Second Time as Romance

Thomas Earls FitzGerald
The Crimean War increased Napoleon III’s prestige but France gained nothing from it in the long term. His invasion of Mexico was a ridiculous and pointless fiasco. If Bonaparte can be regarded as a child of the eighteenth century Enlightenment, his nephew was the child of nineteenth century Romanticism.
Jul 4, 2019, 07:59 AM