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

    Look at Me

    Michael Hinds
    The sonnet emerged in the Renaissance just as the concept of an explorable and variable self became culturally pervasive. Like a multi-barred cage within which the heart, mind and body paces like a bear, the form allowed sophisticated selves to show themselves to be sophisticated.

    Locked up, Locked out

    Dan A O’Brien
    At the ‘academy’, where you can be sent for ‘bumptious behaviour’, the boys were called students, rather than inmates, to distinguish them from the violent offenders that populated prisons. All the violent offenders at the academy were on the staff.

    A Licence to Print Money

    Philip McDonagh
    In the early nineteenth century, the East India Company, which was given a charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, had a private army of 250,000 men, greater than that of European nation states. Its high officials made personal fortunes through exploitation, plunder, and bribery.

    A Roof Over Your Head

    Michael Byrne
    The supply of real estate is inherently fixed. Thus rising demand too often manifests in price inflation (increased price of housing) rather than increased supply. As a result, housing markets are plagued by problems of affordability, inadequate levels of supply and boom/bust cycles.

    Ding Dong, the Witch Might Be Dead

    Alena Dvorakova
    Ding Dong, the Witch Might Be Dead
    The Testaments is undeniably a testament to Margaret Atwood’s literary mastery. She has produced the modern equivalent of a traditional fairy tale – a young adult fantasy – but one that is beautifully written, cleverly plotted and only rarely suffers from didacticism. One might wonder, however, if it is entirely proper for a young rebel to believe in fairy tales.


    A former minister for enterprise famously suggested that while Ireland was physically closer to Berlin it was spiritually, and economically, closer to Boston. As our neighbouring island prepares to push off into the North Atlantic, it is worth asking if this is still a tenable orientation for the state.


    The following is an extract from Emer Nolan’s Five Irish Women: The second republic, 1960-2016, published this month by Manchester University Press.

    The Thieves’ International

    Sean Byrne

    Corruption indices which place countries like the UK and Luxembourg near the virtuous top while Uzbekistan and South Sudan are at the bottom are misleading. It is the financial and legal systems of the UK and Luxembourg that help the kleptocrats of Uzbekistan and South Sudan steal from their people.


    Wakey, wakey

    Colin O’Sullivan
    John W Sexton wants you to ‘wake for the first time’. That is the gauntlet-throw-down of his verse – poems which constantly make you invest time and thought, inverting thoughts and thought patterns and opening you to the idea of ‘thinking yourself into being’.

    The Valley of Tears

    Brendan Lowe
    Comfort and security are illusory in Frank McGuinness’s new poetry collection. They are always weighed down by the fears that are kept to hand. In ‘A Dream About My Father’, the dream is of the father’s death. Comfort, community, family all collapse and vanish.