I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

DUBLIN

A Poet’s Dublin

A little blousy and rough around the edges but still a city of great beauty
Poets have the enviable facility of condensing a vast array of thoughts, emotions and images into a self-contained, perfectly formed unit. This is probably why each of Peter Sirr’s essays on his city can hold so much without ever straining or springing a leak. And there is a lot to take in. The reader should not be greedy. Resist the temptation to wolf it all down in one go. Take your time, allow each essay to lead you where it will.

CIVIL WAR

One More to Go 

Maurice Earls
Ireland’s civil war and its impact on the patterns of 20th century politics Ireland’s twentieth century history would not have been much different if the entity that emerged in 1922 had been called the Irish Republic rather than Saorstát Éireann. This doesn’t imply an absence of substantial politics, but rather that politics was overwhelmingly shaped by the material concerns of the electorate rather than the issues in dispute in the Civil War. In other words, in spite of what has been drummed into us almost ad nauseam, the politics of the twentieth century was not actually ‘Civil War politics’.

Dublin Review of Books

Intimate Oscillations

Keith Payne
A poet’s odyssey ‑ from Dublin suburbs out into the world and back

Pagans, Snobs, Censors

Alice Quinn Banville
Irish visual art and the vaunted uniqueness of our ‘spiritual heritage’

Intellectual Insurrection

Conor McCarthy
The extraordinary range and tireless radical commitment of Edward Said

Not Like The Others

Amanda Bell
A pitch-perfect depiction of life as a teenage girl in 1980s Britain

The Pleasure Principle

Gerald Dawe
A poet born to wealth and privilege whose gift miraculously survived

The World’s Doubleness

Clíona Ní Ríordáin
From the natural world to the grit and banality of everyday life

The Ghost Hunters

Aiden O’Reilly
A literary treatment set in Florida of the classic ‘hero’s quest’ story

Belonging

Jane Xavier
The changing face of Ireland and the forces who are combating change

FUTUROLOGY

A Great Worker

Alena Dvořáková
The work which, 100 years ago, gave us the concept of the robot

WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

The Bloody Crown

Bryce Evans
The factors driving violence in Co Kerry during the revolutionary period

WOMEN WRITERS

Finding a Space

Catriona Crowe
Women and writing in Ireland’s breakthrough feminist ‘second wave’

POLITICS

Wrongfooted by History

Andy Pollak
An up-close look at Northern Ireland’s Protestant community

THE LITERARY REVIEW

Rounding up the Strays

Eve Patten
A new collection of the work of a doyenne of the literary review

CIVIL WAR

One More to Go 

Maurice Earls
Ireland’s civil war and its impact on the patterns of 20th century politics

DUBLIN

A Poet’s Dublin

Christine Dwyer Hickey
A little blousy and rough around the edges but still a city of great beauty

THE LITERARY REVIEW

Rounding up the Strays

Eve Patten
A new collection of the work of a doyenne of the literary review Patricia Craig’s work, which tackles a range of diverse subjects with ease and equanimity, proves that the review article can achieve standalone status; that reviewing is legitimately, as she insists, a ‘craft’, far removed from the scribblings of the dilettante and intrinsic to the momentum of literary history. More importantly, she is enduringly readable, even when writing about the unreadable, combining wit and perspicacity with what she prizes in Elizabeth Bowen: ‘an essential soundness of outlook’.

POLITICS

Wrongfooted by History

An up-close look at Northern Ireland’s Protestant community
Irish republicans, for all their talk, have tended to dismiss Northern Protestants, with their pride in their religion and old-fashioned Britishness, as a lesser breed. They have overlooked them in the belief that they have no real agency in Irish history, which they see as a centuries-old struggle between the imperialist overlord and Ireland’s noble anti-colonial fighters, a struggle they believe they are now finally winning.

WOMEN WRITERS

Finding a Space

Women and writing in Ireland’s breakthrough feminist ‘second wave’
Eavan Boland pondered on fundamental questions about what might be ‘appropriate’ subject matter for a woman poet in Ireland. She was constantly alert to the centrality of women in male Irish poetry, as love objects, muses and symbols of the country throughout its troubled history. Her project was to challenge those categories, and to create literary space for the concerns of daily domestic life.

WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

The Bloody Crown

The factors driving violence in Co Kerry during the revolutionary period
An illuminating new study of the revolutionary period in Ireland seen through the prism of events in Co Kerry eschews a fence-sitting attribution of blame to all sides, correctly identifying the callous actions of British government forces as the key factor driving increasing violence against civilians.

FROM PREVIOUS ISSUES

Essay

Not a Gentleman

Tadhg Foley
Working class Dub and venerated pioneer of Burmese nationalism

Our Enemies’ Enemies

John Mulqueen
How the US and the Vatican combined to help Nazis escape justice

Not So Equal

Patricia Craig
They lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles

Grá Don Domhain

Alan Titley
Love of place, love of nature, love of life: the poet Cathal Ó Searcaigh

FUTUROLOGY

A Great Worker

The work which, 100 years ago, gave us the concept of the robot
A hundred years ago a play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek introduced us to a new creature who was in many respects similar to the human but much better adapted to the demands of work, being without the human’s superfluous ‘complexity’ and often troublesome set of urges and emotions. Čapek’s futurist vision gave the English language the word ‘robot’.

Blogs et cetera

BLOG

What’ll I read?

If we were to pledge not to buy another book until we’d read every last one we have on our shelves at home, booksellers and publishers would soon go out of business. They should not worry, however, for our desire to buy and to collect seems to be unquenchable. As Italo Calvino observed, behind the doors of the bookshop a formidable array of volumes is always waiting to ambush you. If we were to pledge not to buy another book until we’d read every last one we have on our shelves at home, booksellers and publishers would soon go out of business. They should not worry, however, for our desire to buy and to collect seems to be unquenchable. As Italo Calvino observed, behind the doors of the bookshop a formidable array of volumes is always waiting to ambush you.

EXTRACT

Taking a Tumble

Those who partake in ‘decommemorating’, in the form of pulling down statues or otherwise, frequently see themselves as agents of oblivion, determined to efface an undesirable memory. But in the very act of calling attention to an offensive monument, they are in effect agents of memory, unwittingly reviving remembrance of the memorial they seek to supplant.
Those who partake in ‘decommemorating’, in the form of pulling down statues or otherwise, frequently see themselves as agents of oblivion, determined to efface an undesirable memory. But in the very act of calling attention to an offensive monument, they are in effect agents of memory, unwittingly reviving remembrance of the memorial they seek to supplant.