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

The Mobile Cave

Catalin Partenie

The students may be sitting in the lecture theatre, but they are not thinking about the lecture. No, they are thinking about what messages they may have received on the phones in their pockets. That pull is stronger than anything else. It’s time to talk to the top man.

Sep 2, 2018, 11:38 AM

Mending, after the Fall

Enda Wyley
The idea that even if injured we keep going is at the emotional core of Mark Roper’s new collection – a book of poems which is persistent in laying bare both the pain and happiness of being alive, while always looking to the forces of the natural world for guidance.
Jul 7, 2018, 14:37 PM

Home As Hell

Carlo Gébler
Tara Westover’s childhood was dominated by her father’s apocalyptic beliefs. She was born at home, and never had a birth certificate. She never went to hospital, or to a dentist, or school. Eventually she escaped, but realised that she knew nothing – or nothing that is true – about the world.
Jul 7, 2018, 14:17 PM

Towards a Coalition of Hope

Fergus O’Ferrall
The Christian commitment to the core elements of a flourishing society is shared by civic republican philosophy ‑ the secular outlook which ought to underpin and shape the republic which is established in Ireland. It is time for the two to come together to provide an alternative to neo-liberalism.
Jul 7, 2018, 14:08 PM

Beyond the Laws

Robert Looby
Lovers of the plain, the spare, the rational should perhaps avoid Bruno Schulz, an apparently ‘modest teacher’ from a Polish provincial town in whose stories matter has infinite fecundity and we are invited to feel for a table hammered together from ‘alien races of wood that hate one another’.
Jul 7, 2018, 11:07 AM

Your Tribe or Mine?

John Wilson Foster
Multiculturalism has encouraged a rollback from frank discussion, substituting carefully monitored speech in which the identity of the speaker, not the truth-value of what is said, is paramount: candid observation tends less to stimulate debate than fury and grotesquely exaggerated reaction.
Jul 7, 2018, 10:58 AM

Too Dark Altogether

Angus Mitchell
The Congo Free State, a territory in which Belgium’s King Leopold II ran a hugely murderous regime of exploitation at the turn of the twentieth century, had been called ‘darkest Africa’. On this darkness, not of course innate, the campaigner ED Morel shone a strong light.
Jul 7, 2018, 10:53 AM

Wilkommen go hÉirinn

Fergal Lenehan
Some people in the 1960s worried about Germans buying up Irish land. In the previous decade, however, an Irish government had set about seriously trying to attract German industry. If the immediate fruits were modest, an organisational model was established for future success.
Jul 7, 2018, 10:48 AM

Rousing the People

Timothy King
Populist elements in UKIP and the Tory party in Britain have succeeded in engineering a dramatic decision the country will very probably live to regret. What would it take to get a successful populist movement in Ireland going, and what issues would it campaign on?
Jul 6, 2018, 12:58 PM

Why not both?

Carmel Heaney
More and more people describe themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’. Yet perceptions of what it is to be religious have changed significantly and broadened over the last sixty years. Perhaps, for a good life, we need not just human rights culture but the Sermon on the Mount.
Jul 6, 2018, 12:47 PM

A Reading from the Book of Drones

Kevin Hargaden
Marilynne Robinson is a great admirer of former president Barack Obama, and he of her. The gentle humanism they share, however, can only be accepted at face value at the cost of ignoring the civilian victims of America’s war on terror, poor people in faraway places, who it seems don’t count.
Jul 6, 2018, 12:42 PM

The World I Like

Sean Finnan
Far from being a public space, the internet as shaped by social media and personalised search engines sets up a space of absolute closeness, eliminating the outside. Here one encounters oneself and one’s own life. Communal public action to effect political change could not be further away.
Jul 6, 2018, 12:38 PM

The Master and his Men

Barra Ó Seaghdha
Conor Cruise O’Brien went off the rails towards the end of his career, adopting increasingly bizarre positions on Northern Ireland and uncritically supporting Israel. Few of his admirers followed him in these courses, yet for old times’ sake perhaps, they were reluctant to criticise their leader.
Jul 6, 2018, 12:33 PM

Not by Brain Alone

George Sevastopulo
It is often suggested that humans’ large brains set them definitively apart from other animals. However, the most important factor in the success of Homo sapiens may well have been human culture, the ability to accumulate knowledge and adaptation skills over generations and to cooperate.
Jul 6, 2018, 12:28 PM