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

    From the Battlefield

    Ronan Sheehan
    Robert Lowell’s ‘For the Union Dead’ is first and foremost an American poem. It is about a nation born in courage and descending into slack and rust. It is about valour and the corruption of valour. It asks which noble acts, which right things done, enter and stay in memory.
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    Machine World

    Stephen Cox
    A perceptive essay on technology in the nineteenth century indicates why that era had such a bearing on the times to come in highlighting the discrepancy between our technological capabilities and what our mind is able to penetrate, between our inventiveness and our moral imagination.
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    Toxins

    Mary O’Donnell
    Although Annemarie Ní Churreáin’s poems often centre on ‘subjects’ and ‘issues’, the strength of her work derives from a perceived absence of agenda. There may well be an agenda, but thanks to poetic language true to its task, we believe in these poems as poetry.
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    Making a History of the Homeplace

    Breandán Mac Suibhne
    An extract from ‘The End of Outrage’, an intimate history of a small southwest Donegal community around the time of the Famine which focuses not on the relations between the rich and the poor but between poor families themselves, land, inheritance and emigration.
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    Poetry, Exile, Homecoming

    Keith Payne
    After much wandering, there is a sense of homecoming in Michael O’Loughlin’s later poems, but more the poet coming home to himself than any facile notion of nationhood. This is a collection which places O’Loughlin deservedly within the canon of Irish poetry.
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    A Great Delight, A Little Load

    Carlo Gébler
    Peter Fallon’s version of the Greek poet Hesiod’s best-known work avoids the traps of exaggerated fidelity to ancient poetic protocol and wilful anachronism. There is also modesty in his practice: this is about Hesiod, and admiration of what Fallon can do is not allowed to get in the way.
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    Not All There

    Dan A O’Brien
    Sean O’Reilly’s truncated, misshapen stories are a radical leave-taking from the Irish literary tradition ‑ more Flannery than Frank O’Connor ‑ while in other ways they could not be anything other than Irish, sharing much with the stranger work of Donal Ryan and Rob Doyle.
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    Judging Fintan Judging Shaw

    Anthony Roche
    Judging Fintan Judging Shaw
    Most Shavians steer clear of discussing Shaw’s final decades. It is then that he starts cuddling up to dictators, of whom there was no shortage at the time. Beatrice Webb blamed his admiration for Mussolini on 'his intellectual isolation and weakness for flattery'.
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    The Long Fellow

    Mary E Daly
    The Long Fellow
    During his later career, Eamon de Valera only invoked Ulster when it was politically expedient. His latest biographer notes that in 1921-22 he regarded the Irish Free State as a permanent arrangement and the Ulster settlement as temporary – though the reverse turned out to be the case.
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    No Hope of an End

    Kevin Stevens
    No Hope of an End
    Nicole Krauss has made her mark with fiction that is technically daring, emotionally vibrant, and unafraid of the largest subjects. She is fresh and individual but knows from where she comes. Her most recent novel has Philip Roth’s influence all over it, while Kafka’s shade hovers in the background.
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