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

Nobody will see us

Neil Hegarty
Out of bleak contexts and grey ingredients, Conor O’Callaghan creates a spare, emotionally fraught story of home, homelessness and unsettlement. Yet there is no absence of emotion: the approach is to strip away the fat – to permit a wide view, while withholding much by way of detail.
Apr 30, 2020, 21:28 PM

A Plump Pillow

Leanne Ogasawara
Japanese poets have traditionally taken pilgrimages to locations of great scenic allure, seeking out wondrous places that are so inviting, so lovely, that poems wish to settle in them. A German professor wakes from a disturbing dream and journeys to such a site. Why? He has no idea.
Apr 30, 2020, 21:22 PM

Time and the Woman

Declan O’Driscoll
Eimear Mc Bride’s new novel presents us with a woman, or maybe a series of women, at various stages of life, presented within the confines of a hotel room, but on each occasion in a different city. There is a twist at the end. But it’s not a plot twist, because there is no plot.
Apr 30, 2020, 21:17 PM

Found Again

Enda Coyle-Greene
Towards the close of Gerard Smyth’s quietly impressive collection, a sequence of elegies acts as both an act of creative solidarity and a defiant rebuttal of creativity’s all-too-inevitable cessation. The poems, rather like memory itself, call out to and answer each other.
Apr 30, 2020, 21:13 PM

The Joys of Fieldwork

Ailbhe Nic Giolla Chomhaill
The eloquence and elegance which often emerge from folklore archives is a thread which connects each of the essays in a new collection in honour of Ríonach uí Ógáin. Each of the authors gives his/her own insight into the ‘doing’ of fieldwork, which can be both a vocation and an addiction.
Apr 30, 2020, 21:07 PM

Remembering Lyra

Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado

‘We were the Good Friday Agreement generation,’ wrote the journalist Lyra McKee, shot dead by the New IRA while working  in Derry a year ago, ‘destined to never witness the horrors of war but to reap the spoils of peace. The spoils just never seemed to reach us.’

Apr 30, 2020, 21:01 PM

Ourselves Alone

Frank Callanan
As the scale of Labour’s defeat became clear, a succession of Corbynists emerged to insist that the voters’ rejection of their policies was not a rejection at all and that nothing need change: a strange product of a new ‘leftism’ that exists not to seek power but largely for its own sake.
Apr 30, 2020, 19:15 PM

Ins and Outs

Martin Tyrrell
Psychologist Henri Tajfel was an argumentative man and he encouraged similar aggressive attitudes in his colleagues and students. He tended to make up his mind early, a colleague wrote, if you were on the side of the angels or not. And he never changed his mind.
Apr 30, 2020, 19:11 PM

The Poet and the City

Kathleen Shields
Austin Clarke, who started his writing career during the Celtic twilight years and adapted some Irish language poetic forms and themes, has suffered from falling on the wrong side of the nationalist/modernist divide, a contrast partially built on critical essays by Beckett.
Apr 30, 2020, 19:01 PM

For the Cause

John Mulqueen
In the mid-1930s, 40,000 men enlisted in the International Brigades to fight fascism in Spain. Many died, while the recollections of some who returned, like those published in a moving memoir from the mid-1970s, do not cast much credit on the organisers of the resistance.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:34 PM

There Will Be Order

Alena Dvořáková
László Krasznahorkai’s new novel, ‘Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming’, reveals the kind of dynamic, both economic and emotional-spiritual, that has facilitated Viktor Orbán’s Hungarian ‘koronadiktatúra’, a form of rule which also appeals to other central European would-be autocrats.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:27 PM

Grá Don Domhain

Alan Titley
Cathal Ó Searcaigh’s love poems are part of a bigger picture in which quite simply love of life is the driving force. This love of life can be furled down to love of place, and love of nature, and love of language, more simply, love of the world.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:24 PM

End Games

Liam Kennedy
More than one future is foreseeable for Northern Ireland. We could have a united Ireland, as Protestants lose their numerical majority. Or we could have a continuation of the link with Britain, not unpopular with all Catholics. But there’s one thing we can be sure of: the future is not Orange.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:19 PM

Booms and Busts

Timothy King
Declines in human fertility have been attributed to ‘moral and cultural relativism, multiculturalism and political correctness’, but in fact political, social and cultural attitudes seem to play very little role, fertility decisions being both decentralised and private.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:15 PM

A Different Kind of Republic

Andreas Hess
While it is part and parcel of a ritual reaffirmation of identity, republicanism in Ireland has no practical significance in everyday life: it does nothing to alleviate burning problems in areas such as housing, health, transport or pollution. The concept once had other, more fruitful, meanings.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:06 PM

The Thin Crust of Civilisation

Eoin Dillon
Thomas Piketty describes himself as a socialist, but he is much closer to Keynes than perhaps he would like to admit. He is the more confirmed democrat, but both thinkers have a faith in technocratic systems of redistribution administered by disinterested experts for the common good.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:01 PM