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


Declan O’Driscoll
It’s not easy being in a Joanna Walsh story. Nothing is quite as it should be and however fervently you maintain hope, that vision you have of how life might approach perfection ‑ the image imagined ‑ never settles or sharpens into focus.
Nov 30, 2017, 20:38 PM

Love Persists, Despite

Nessa O’Mahony
Two new collections deal with the many challenges that life throws at us, from illness and ageing to bereavement, fragility and, eventually, death. And in spite of all this, the poet is compelled, as Kavanagh wrote, to ‘record love’s mystery without claptrap’.
Nov 30, 2017, 20:31 PM

People of No Account

David Langwallner
Arundhati Roy’s new novel, her first for twenty years, has many passages of fine writing but overall is something of an aesthetic mess. The key to understanding it and the passionate political impulses that lie behind it are perhaps to be found in Roy’s political writing about her native India.
Nov 30, 2017, 20:19 PM

Listening to the Women

Adrian Paterson
Voices are central to the project of revolution, just as they are afterwards, and not only as a metaphor. If the 1916 rising was staged – and a surprisingly large number of participants in the event had a background in the theatre – no one could say that it went quite according to script.
Nov 30, 2017, 20:13 PM

Literarily Hitler

Paul O’Mahoney
The politicisation of everyday life is most typical of totalitarian regimes but every society in every age is susceptible. To politicise life is not to elevate it but to reduce it to one dimension and vulgarise it, sharpening partisanship and inducing people to lower their intellectual standards.
Nov 30, 2017, 20:00 PM

The Cruel Ways of War

Niamh Reilly
A sparkling collection of essays was published 100 years ago written by a man who had been regarded as a formidable intellectual and rising star of progressive Ireland. But Tom Kettle had died the previous year fighting in France and his book was already out of joint with the new times.
Nov 30, 2017, 19:42 PM

Reclaiming the Lyric

Justin Quinn
Modernism, for many decades from the mid-twentieth century, dominated how we understood the visual arts, music, architecture, and design. If you wrote poems in rhyme about landscape and the seasons at the beginning of the twentieth century, you were out.
Nov 30, 2017, 19:15 PM

Northern Star

Jim Smyth

Samuel Neilson was a principal in the founding of the first, open society of the United Irishmen and an architect of the underground movement and the alliance with the Defenders. When the strategic initiative shifted from Belfast to Dublin, Neilson shifted with it.

Nov 30, 2017, 19:12 PM

Saving the Mind from Big Tech

Stephen Phillips
There was a time when it seemed that people didn’t mind what they shoved in their mouths as long as it was cheap. Then came ‘artisan food’, for which a minority would pay a premium. Might a willingness to pay for ‘artisan’ thought and analysis yet save what we used to call the quality press?
Nov 30, 2017, 19:08 PM

Reading the Traces

Fergal Lenehan
In the 1930s, 426 refugees from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, most of them Jewish, found refuge in Ireland. Though some objections were raised by the authorities at accepting them, in many cases they were to become significant contributors to the Irish economy.
Nov 30, 2017, 19:03 PM

Work-Life Imbalance

John Fanning
If our humanist lives were organised around individualism, free markets, democracy and human rights, these, it is argued, are being undermined by information technology and bioscience, rendering the free individual ‘a fictitious tale concocted by an assembly of biochemical algorithms’.
Nov 30, 2017, 18:54 PM

The Resident and the Stranger

Frank Freeman
Tolstoy oscillated between the profligate life and stable family life. Tolstoy the Resident wanted to live on his estate, write great works of art and love his family. Tolstoy the Stranger, alienated from family and society, wanted solitude, to serve pleasure when he was young and God when older.
Nov 30, 2017, 18:49 PM

The Technological Savage

Frank Armstrong
The word ‘science’, which originally meant knowledge or understanding in general, gradually became narrowed to mean only physical science. But perhaps the passion for truth that impels the scientist and the passion of spirit we call religion need to be reunited.
Nov 30, 2017, 18:39 PM