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

Through to Delight

Magdalena Kay
There is a sense of joy in Derek Mahon’s latest collection, which long-time readers may see as a hard-won peace with a world, and a life, that has all too often shown its undelightful side. The brightness of these visions has been earned.
Jun 9, 2018, 11:22 AM

In Search of Richard Murphy

Benjamin Keatinge
Richard Murphy felt out of place in American universities, where his students equated poetry with self-expression. As Gerald Dawe has recently suggested, Murphy was always a poet of other people, whose poems are not about himself at all but about ‘others’ and their reality.
Jun 9, 2018, 11:12 AM

Bleak New World

Carlo Gébler
Julian Gough’s new novel portrays a world that we are already well on the way to – one in which human concerns are very much outweighed by issues of the control of ‘tech’. It’s perhaps a problem that a certain kind of reader remains unmoved by tech and stubbornly interested in people.
Jun 9, 2018, 11:07 AM

Memory and Echoes

Florence Impens
One of the delights of Leanne O’Sullivan stems from how cleverly she plays with Irish poetry, notably in her use of classical material. There are echoes here of Yeats, Longley and  Mahon, while other poems discreetly evoke Seamus Heaney’s work.
Jun 9, 2018, 11:01 AM

Crossing Jordan

Bryan Fanning
Jordan Peterson argues that inequalities experienced under one political system are likely to be recreated in any alternative. Yet surely human ingenuity makes it possible to create institutions and invent social practices which allow us to depart from the determinist script.
Jun 8, 2018, 15:00 PM

Not At Home

Dan A O’Brien
In Barracoon, Zora Neale Hurston’s documentary narrative from 1931 which has only now been published, the former slave Cudjo gives his children names for the old world they have left behind and the new one in which they now live. But like him, they are at home in neither.
Jun 8, 2018, 14:41 PM

Dead Beat Descendants

John Fleming
Mark E Smith’s voice sounded like an anti-London weapon. The danger of his Manchester accent was quite distinct from the dense, literary ambition of his words and phrases; distinct too from the prevailing sneer of take-control-of-the-means-of-production punk and post-punk.
Jun 8, 2018, 14:17 PM

Art Wars

Cormac Shine
With a new TV series and accompanying book, Mary Beard has thrown down a vigorous challenge to the late Kenneth Clark and his view of art. In fact both approaches, almost fifty years apart, have a good deal to recommend them and would benefit from being considered together.
Jun 8, 2018, 13:21 PM

Greed and Good

Tom Hennigan
That Mario Vargas Llosa should champion liberal principles is scarcely surprising, given the damage wrought by rival doctrines in South America. His new study might have benefited, however, from considering the ways in which liberal politics seems to have come unstuck elsewhere.
Jun 8, 2018, 13:16 PM

Them and Us

Martin Tyrrell
A classic experiment in social psychology and group antagonism now looks as if it was manipulated to produce the results required by the preceding theory. That doesn’t, however, mean the theory is wrong: if people grow up in a culture of us against them, that’s the society we will get.
Jun 8, 2018, 13:11 PM

The Hardest Problem

Martin Greene
Joyce drew on his theories in creating Leopold and Molly Bloom. Freud thought he was ‘highly gifted but sexually deranged’. Wittgenstein thought he was ‘great’, though one couldn’t agree with him, while Strindberg thought he had solved the hardest problem, the problem of women.
Jun 8, 2018, 13:06 PM

The Voice in the Ear

Manus Charleton
Conscience, Hamlet felt, could make cowards of us all. Nietzsche agreed, seeing it as a conspiracy to rein in the strong and free-spirited. And yet it is those moved by conscience, human rights activists, dissidents in totalitarian societies, whom we see as holding up a light for a better world.
Jun 8, 2018, 11:53 AM

A Line Made By Reading

Chris Arthur
Can reading rewire the psyche, leave an impression that’s permanent, or is it no more than something of the moment, its impact evaporating as soon as we disengage the reading eye? Is a line made by a lifetime’s reading laid down indelibly or can it be erased?
Jun 8, 2018, 11:47 AM