"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

The Mad Muse

Matthew Parkinson-Bennett
An eccentric comic novel by a promising young Irish writer is stylistically ambitious, difficult and truly original. It’s a wonder it got published at all.
Jan 5, 2017, 22:47 PM

The View from the Hill

Michael Halpenny
Based on an array of Irish and British contemporary sources, including papers and photographs from private collections, a new study of the revolutionary years in Howth and neighbouring communities combines academic rigour with the pace of an adventure story.
Jan 5, 2017, 22:39 PM

The Kingdom of Water

Enda Wyley
A new collection from Noel Duffy sees his verse branch off from the more lyrical and autobiographical work of previous volumes to exhibit greater experimentation in form and theme, with subject matter ranging from physics and thermodynamics, to nature to individual lives.
Jan 5, 2017, 22:32 PM

Proof or Imagination?

Frank MacGabhann
A new book on Casement’s Black Diaries refuses to consider the possibility that these were a forgery. One sad consequence of the focus on whether Casement was or was not a homosexual and engaged in predatory acts is that it detracts from his hugely important work as a humanitarian.
Jan 5, 2017, 22:18 PM

Not So Very Different

Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke

There can at times be an attention-seeking particularism about Irish writing - look at us, and at how unique and how very interesting we are. But in terms of our post-independence economic history we are much like many comparable peripheral European states, with similar failures.

res and similar successes.

Jan 5, 2017, 19:36 PM

Descent into Darkness

Magdalena Kay
Heaney’s Virgil certainly contains some of the verbal exuberance we associate with him, but some may wonder why there is not more. But Virgil’s Latin is known for its poetic decorum, which Heaney wishes to preserve rather than challenge. His aim is not to confound but to celebrate.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:29 PM

Philosophy on the Boulevard

Manus Charleton
The bloom of Existentialism may have faded today - though its presence is still felt in literary work - but fifty years ago every fashionable person wanted to learn about it, the Establishment fretted about it, and almost every journalist seemed to be using it to make a living.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:20 PM

Steady As She Goes

John Mulqueen
From 1987 to the intoxicating highs of the Celtic Tiger, peaking in 2008, then crashing, there would be one political certainty in Ireland: most voters would choose a mainstream party in a general election. Even in 2011, the three established parties still dominated the scene.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:16 PM

Sign Language

John Fleming
In his celebrated 1959 work ‘Mythologies’, Roland Barthes handed the reader a torch with which to illuminate for himself the semantic corners of his personal world. Peter Conrad, in his ‘tales for our times’, walks in the steps of the master and proves himself an entirely worthy successor.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:13 PM

Knock, knock

John Bradley
Politicians sometimes consider that facing up to the consequences of their mistakes entitles them to be regarded as brave. But in the case of the Irish crash the warnings were there long before 2008. Hell was at the gates and the banging getting louder, but no one was listening.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:09 PM

Ghost Frequencies

Bryan Fanning
Immediately a man dies for what he believes, Robert Lynd wrote after the death of Pearse, everything he has said or written assumes a new value and his words seem mysteriously laden with meaning, a ghostly bequest in regard to which we do not feel quite free to play the critic.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:02 PM

The Critic as Colleague

John Swift
The exemplary career of Irish broadcaster Andy O’Mahony illustrates the role that can be played by the critic in the public sphere. Standing beside the novelist and the poet, he or she illuminates experience through texts, as the others do through plot and character or rhythm and metaphor.
Jan 5, 2017, 18:56 PM

Republic of Lies

Tom Hennigan
Brazil’s Workers Party is smarting after losing its president through impeachment, accusing its enemies of mounting a coup. It would be better off engaging in stringent self-criticism and renewal, as it is still the country’s best bet for much-needed progress on social justice.
Jan 5, 2017, 18:50 PM

Cold War Art

Brenda Moore-McCann

The Rosc art exhibitions, which ran in Dublin for twenty years in the second half of the last century, opened up Ireland to the experience of modern and Modernist art. But did the impulse for them come from the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and its ultimate paymaster, the CIA?

Jan 5, 2017, 18:45 PM