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

Team Amis

Kevin Power
To be accepted into Martin Amis’s canon of greats you must be a writer, not necessarily of brilliant novels, or even of brilliant chapters, but of brilliant sentences and paragraphs. Plot, form, structure, psychological insight: all of these are secondary matters.
Nov 5, 2017, 16:52 PM

Slaves to a Myth

Bryan Fanning
The notion that large numbers of Irish immigrants were once slaves has been mobilised by the American alt-right to deflect from historical and contemporary racism while simultaneously promoting a white nationalist agenda based on claims of white victimhood.
Nov 5, 2017, 16:29 PM

The Green Island

Philip O’Connor
A valuable study of the treatment of Ireland in sections of the German print media shows an evolution from a reliance on a jumble of cliches about the nation – often of English provenance – to a more informed engagement, particularly on the part of Hamburg’s ‘Die Zeit’.
Nov 5, 2017, 16:10 PM

The Book’s The Thing

Toby Barnard
A new study of reading in the eighteenth century returns books to the settings in which they were enjoyed, stressing how they were valued as aids to refinement and self-improvement and how frequently they were encountered through being read aloud for the benefit of a group.
Nov 5, 2017, 15:19 PM

The Rock in Rough Weather

Tom Inglis
Those who still see a future for Irish Catholicism argue that in a materialist and individualistic age it can minister to ‘a deep spiritual hunger’. But there is little evidence that Catholics see church teachings as a means of living a good life, or its prayers and rituals as a means of being spiritual.
Nov 5, 2017, 15:05 PM

In the Mix

Adrian Scahill
A new study of the traditional music of Co Clare employs an approach which highlights the fluidity and play between periphery and centre, between the dynamic of flow and the rootedness of place, between past and future, music as heritage and music as a creative art.
Nov 5, 2017, 14:50 PM

With Karl and Groucho

Billy Mills
Augustus Young’s imagined conversations between Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin, taking the form of a Socratic dialogue, range across the role of ideas in art, public versus private, the role of the audience, love, happiness, knowledge, Marx (Karl and Groucho) and racism.
Nov 5, 2017, 14:45 PM

Meet the Replicants

Manus Charleton
Research, backed by large financial investment, is forging ahead to turn fiction into fact and reproduce human intelligence in androids that approximate to humans. What effect might these efforts, if successful, have on how we perceive and value our own intelligence and consciousness?
Nov 5, 2017, 14:39 PM

Joe’s Golden Years

Giles Newington
Salman Rushdie’s new novel is set in an America switching from Obama to Trump. While it may not be entirely clear what he is telling us about the ‘post-truth’ world, Rushdie’s primary gift as a storyteller seems to have survived in a story full of verve and invention.
Nov 5, 2017, 14:33 PM

Troubles with Remembering; or, The Seven Sins of Memory Studies

Guy Beiner
Historians often talk about memory, while actually writing in looser terms about history. There is also a prevalent tendency to confuse memory with historiography, which bolsters a delusional self-image of the professional historian as the primary custodian of communal memory.
Nov 5, 2017, 14:17 PM

Traffic in Mockery

Adrian Paterson
The selling off of Ireland’s cultural heritage makes for decent business. Recently the treasures of what the auctioneer described as ‘Ireland’s greatest literary and artistic family’ netted just shy of £2 million. Where, if indeed anywhere, does the public interest come into this?
Nov 4, 2017, 11:56 AM

Response to a Review

Robert W White
Robert W White takes issue with a review of his book Out of the Ashes, which appeared in the October 2017 issue.
Nov 4, 2017, 11:45 AM

Places Like Home

Catherine Phil MacCarthy
Poet Gerard Smyth and painter Seán McSweeney have produced a remarkable collaboration of words and images built around the farms, fields and landscapes of Co Meath, where each of them spent some time in childhood
Nov 4, 2017, 11:20 AM

Alone in Luanda

Patrick Gillan
An exceptional novel from an Angolan writer details the brutality, cynicism and tragedy of war. Comedy, love and a touch of magic realism also contribute to a riveting narrative. It is a worthy winner of this year’s International Dublin Literary Award
Nov 4, 2017, 11:12 AM

Part of What They Are

Maurice Earls
Driven by its history, Britain is hurtling towards a hard Brexit, which is likely to be a quite unpleasant experience for our neighbours, and perhaps to some degree also for us. Unless, that is, a coalition of pragmatists emerges in Westminster. In that eventuality perhaps Ireland should offer a helping hand.
Nov 4, 2017, 11:01 AM