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

Ciaran Carson 1948-2019

Michael Hinds
Ciaran Carson drew on the supple lines of narrative, melody and rhythm that run through traditional music. As with other great modernist poets, he brought poetry beyond word-music into a dizzying and organic dance; for rhythm, the closest to him in the past century was Fred Astaire.
Oct 29, 2019, 21:09 PM

Charlatans and Fools

Brian Trench
The early chapters of this book are a primer in identifying logical flaws, fallacies, rhetorical sleight-of-hand, bias, abuse of statistics and outright manipulation in the presentation of arguments against evidence produced by science. 
Oct 29, 2019, 21:05 PM

Law is Politics

John Reynolds
There has been no shortage of Palestinian legal initiatives, and no shortage of good Palestinian lawyers. What there has been a shortage of since the late 1980s, when the single democratic state project was formally abandoned, is political vision from the Palestinian leadership.
Oct 29, 2019, 20:57 PM

Warm words from the dreary steeples

Iggy McGovern
Can one still enjoy, after several decades, the stories of Benedict Kiely, empathise with their rural themes and collude with their soft sectarian notions in the aftermath of our thirty years’ war? The answer to all three questions is an enthusiastic yes.
Oct 29, 2019, 20:52 PM

Attentive Living

Amanda Bell
To pay attention to one thing is to resist paying attention to other things; it means constantly denying and thwarting provocations outside the sphere of one’s attention in order to be able to concentrate on what is essential.
Oct 29, 2019, 20:48 PM

A coming of age

John Dillon
The diary of the woman who was to become the wife of the prominent Irish Party politician John Dillon provides an intriguing insight into the social circles of substantial Catholic families in London and Ireland and the political alliances, and splits, in the nationalist movement.
Oct 29, 2019, 20:43 PM

Pulling back the curtains

Emer Nolan
The heroines of the Victorian novel encountered a blockage in their lives that Sally Rooney’s do not. Might access to education have made a difference? What if Cathy and Heathcliff could have taken a module on Freud together, if Dorothea Brooke had been able to do a degree in medicine?
Oct 29, 2019, 19:35 PM

Born to provoke

Conor Linnie
Lucian Freud delighted in shocking his acquaintances with a series of stunts straight from the surrealist handbook. Dead and mounted animals littered his squat in a decaying Regency terrace house. Kenneth Clark’s wife was understandably appalled to find two dead monkeys in the oven.
Oct 29, 2019, 19:27 PM

Beating the odds

Patricia Craig
Edna O’Brien has been accused by some less perceptive critics of always writing about victims. But as she has insisted, and as is abundantly clear in her compelling new novel, she writes particularly of victims who survive, who pull through. She is celebrating resilience.
Oct 29, 2019, 19:02 PM

The Cream Separatist Movement

Luke Gibbons
Is the country destined to always lag behind the city? Sinn Féin, a creation of the urban bourgeois intelligentsia, took off as a national movement when it spread to rural Ireland, meshing with the vigorous co-operative movement, the countryside radicalising the city.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:52 PM

Ireland’s Imperial Elites

Seán William Gannon
Among Irish officers in the British army and colonial civil servants, ‘Irish’, ‘Anglo-Irish’, ‘English’ and ‘British imperial’ were seldom understood as mutually exclusive identities. That one could be simultaneously of Ireland, Britain, and empire was for most a self-evident article of faith.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:48 PM

History from the top II

Barra Ó Seaghdha
Amid the consensus about Ireland being a victim of politicians, bankers and out-of-control developers, is it right to forget the additional uncomfortable fact that large numbers of ordinary Irish people had been ripping off their fellow-citizens with ardour during the Celtic Tiger years?
Oct 29, 2019, 18:42 PM

People Power

John Swift
Does political democracy have a value in the absence of economic democracy? Should social distinctions be maintained? Ancient Athens largely practised a mixed system, with a modus vivendi between the classes that posed little threat to wealth and kept most public offices for the elite.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:32 PM

Speaking to the nation

Maurice Walsh
In their closeness to the church, practical timidity and occasional cautious defiance of authority, Ireland’s provincial papers in the early 20th century were exemplars of that elusive quantity ‘moderate opinion’. Yet by 1918 most had moved in the direction of Sinn Féin.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:26 PM

Up and doing

Giles Newington
The novelist John Buchan was both patriotic Scot and unionist Briton. And while his work often reveals an unpleasant racism, this sunny-tempered dynamo was still able, as someone from the political periphery, to respect cultural difference and aspirations to independence.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:09 PM

Muscular Contrarian

Paul O’Mahoney
While Enoch Powell was undoubtedly moved by principles, and in his own words possessed of ‘a savage reliance on the workings of my own intellect’, there was more artifice, more deliberation in and more conscious cultivation of his public persona than one might suspect.
Oct 29, 2019, 18:02 PM