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

Less Thought, More Action

Antony Tatlow
The German theatre company Schaubühne has toured its surtitled version of Hamlet in a translation which would more be accurately described as a transformation. The interpretation may be daring but the interweaving of meaning and “music” which makes Shakespeare’s language so memorable is lost.
Dec 1, 2014, 19:32 PM

The Scruple of Detail

Michael Cronin
Shifted whole from one language to another, philosophical terms leave behind a rich history of usage, interpretation, and interaction with other terms. To understand them properly we must recover some of that past, working against the grain of  the monologic of the monoglot.
Dec 1, 2014, 19:25 PM

Education for Democracy

Jonathan Creasy
Founded in 1933 in western North Carolina, Black Mountain College sought to promote the educational and democratic principles of John Dewey. It had enormous success in attracting major figures to teach but still had some difficulty in implementing racial integration.
Dec 1, 2014, 19:07 PM

The Talking Cure

Seamus O’Mahony
Sigmund Freud did not care greatly for his patients, and learning and teaching were more to his taste than helping and healing. Nevertheless, psychoanalysis has become in our age the pervasive orthodoxy of self-knowledge, even if its scientific claims are on a par with those of, say, aromatherapy.
Nov 5, 2014, 18:49 PM

Worlds in Words

Sean Sheehan
Scholarly research into ‘dead’ languages evolved over many centuries into an intellectual discipline which was to become the backbone of universities' humanities departments. The history of this progress is the subject of an impressive and hugely industrious new work.
Nov 5, 2014, 18:37 PM

Deeper than God

Manus Charleton
Dworkin argues that, as well as religious theists, there are many others who because they believe the universe is inherently ordered while at the same time reaching beyond our comprehension, should also be regarded as religious. He calls them religious atheists. Among scientists, Einstein is the most famous religious atheist. 
Nov 5, 2014, 17:14 PM

Warts and All

Patrick Gillan
John Deakin recorded in his photographs the Soho of the 1950s, a bohemia inhabited by painters like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud and poets like WS Graham and George Barker. Though his portraits are often harsh, they are not devoid of sympathy, or pity for those crushed by life.
Nov 2, 2014, 12:29 PM

The Utility of Inquiry

Nicholas Canny
Many of the challenges put forward to ‘pure’ research in the humanities have been mounted before – by Jeremy Bentham and his followers – in the nineteenth century. They were also quite eloquently answered, by the likes of Arnold, Ruskin, Newman and John Stuart Mill.
Oct 19, 2014, 19:24 PM

Nobody’s Perfect

Frank Freeman
The Stoic philosopher Seneca offered useful advice on self-mastery, how to deal with the passage of time and the vanity of acquisitiveness. If he did not always live up to the highest ideals himself, it can at least be said in his defence that he lived in difficult times.
Oct 6, 2014, 17:40 PM

God is Dead, Long Live Religion

Matthew Parkinson-Bennett
According to Terry Eagleton, the history of the modern age is among other things the search for a viceroy for God. Yet it has been difficult for any substitute to emulate religion’s success, to bridge the gap, as it does, between high and low, elite and masses, rarefied ideas and common practice.
Aug 31, 2014, 15:16 PM

Epiphanies and Voids

Pádraig Murphy
Attention to the apparently insignificant is a particular feature of Japanese art. It is an aspect of Zen’s emphasis on giving attention not to theory or to abstract truth, but to concrete, existing reality, the here and now.
Aug 31, 2014, 14:54 PM

The Modernist Moment

Tom Hennigan
Brazil, in the mid-twentieth century, saw a spectacular flourishing of architecture and town planning, associated with names like Niemeyer and Costa. But since then chaos and venality have returned, with builders rather than architects in the driving seat and recent hopes that the World Cup could be a game-changer disappointed.
Jun 2, 2014, 17:20 PM

The People’s Music

Jeremy Kearney
The British folk music scene began to thrive through its extensive club circuit in the 1950s and gave a platform to many Irish singers. It was seldom without tension, however, between purists like Ewan MacColl and others who put greater stress on enjoyment.
Jun 2, 2014, 16:59 PM

Ahead of the Curve

Peter Brooke
The Vorticist painter Wyndham Lewis believed that art best serves human personality by being impersonal, by affirming space and the full maturity of the object, fixity, against the fleeting moment, the accidental by-products of a process.
May 5, 2014, 18:07 PM

Hoops of Steel

Chris Lawn
At a time when people feel they need social media to keep track of the number of their so-called friends and ‘followers’, a philosophical study invites us to ask ‘who is my friend?’ and reflect on what quality of friendship qualifies as ‘real’.
Apr 22, 2014, 07:58 AM

The Last Post

Michael Cronin
Animals have been divided into those we watch TV with, those we eat and those we’re scared of. If ‘becoming animal’ is understood in Hiberno-English as an unfortunate consequence of excessive alcohol consumption, here it is rather a way of perceiving that we exist on a planet that we share with innumerable other species that we continue to destroy in vast numbers.
Mar 11, 2014, 21:14 PM

The Goggle Box

David Blake Knox
Television has been accused of dumbing down the population almost since it was invented. For TS Eliot even the word itself was ugly and foreign. Noel Coward thought it ‘hideous and horrid’, while those on the left feared it would seduce the working classes and liquidate their sense of class solidarity.
Dec 15, 2013, 21:53 PM

Noises from Beneath

Angela Nagle
Cyberutopians promised us the Internet would bring the end of hierarchies, industry, nationalism and gender oppression. But its political claims have proven to be largely empty while it has continued to spawn a particularly vicious male geek culture of obscenity and misogyny
Dec 1, 2013, 23:39 PM

Takes All Kinds

Sean Sheehan
Herodotus was intensely interested in all forms of oddity or unfamiliarity, whether relating to human behaviour or geographical curiosity. Everything is a fish that comes into his net, yet he writes without any assumption of cultural superiority attaching to his status as a Greek.
Dec 1, 2013, 20:24 PM

Ulysses and Africa

Sean Sheehan
A new book seeks to consider writers' responses to Homer from an anticolonial or postcolonialist perspective.
Sep 22, 2013, 15:44 PM