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

The Canon in Irish Language Fiction

Brian Ó Conchubhair and Philip O’Leary
A conference held in Dublin earlier this year set itself the difficult task of identifying the fifteen leading Irish language novels published in the twentieth century. Much debate was occasioned, and will no doubt continue, but a list of (in fact sixteen) works was arrived at.
Jun 8, 2015, 10:47 AM

Signs of the Times

Keith Payne
A new Dublin history book is more than just a roll-call of past businesses in the city. It is what much poetry attempts to be, a version of the city that stops you and makes you turn again on your wander through the city centre, tilt your head upwards and take notice.
Jun 8, 2015, 10:40 AM

Necessary Things

Richard Hayes
There are no pyrotechnics in Gerald Dawe’s new collection; the poems go about their business quietly, presenting the reader, it seems, with cases to be considered, never forcing ‑ neither in formal terms nor in argument ‑ the reader towards certain ends.
Jun 8, 2015, 10:33 AM

Strangely (un)Christian

Emily Holman
The central characters in Michael Faber’s new novel seem to be made of Christian ingredients, yet to speak and think in ways incompatible with who they profess to be. And though the novel improves, this tonal blip tends to make for an erratic reading experience.
Jun 8, 2015, 10:27 AM

Church Militant

Jeffrey Burwell
A collection of narratives of the lives of eleven Jesuit priests who served as chaplains in the British army during the First World War offers an analysis of the complex situations Irish chaplains faced and the sometimes unexpected pastoral needs encountered on the battlefield.
Jun 8, 2015, 10:22 AM

An Unknown Kingdom

Joe Woods
The Burmese poet Ko Ko Thett, now living in Belgium, has garnered high praise for his work, particularly from the high priest of American experimentalist poetry John Ashberry, who has characterised his verse as ‘brilliantly off-kilter’.
Jun 7, 2015, 20:13 PM

Noisy as the Grave

Philip O’Leary
An English rendering of a classic modernist Irish novel has found a translator who can do justice to its playfulness, delight in puns, neologisms, scurrilities and malapropisms and its ability to create and sustain a coherent world through rolling floods of words.
Jun 7, 2015, 10:33 AM

The Romantic Englishman

Enda O’Doherty
George Orwell is celebrated as the man who made political writing an art. But if he was a brilliantly gifted, and often funny, polemical writer, politically he was frequently off the mark, right about one big thing but hopelessly wrong about many small ones.
Jun 7, 2015, 10:01 AM

The City Mapped

Patrick Duffy
Two new volumes from the Royal Irish Academy illustrate the enormous variety and detail of eighteenth and nineteenth century Dublin, with its fine streets and walks, alleys and stable lanes, barracks, watchhouses, infirmaries , penitentiaries and multifarious manufactories.
Jun 7, 2015, 09:50 AM

The Big Picture

Sara Goek
A transnational perspective can complement national history and breathe new life into insular debates. It has the potential to both open up new research areas and to expand our understanding of topics that might otherwise seem tired and overwrought.
Jun 7, 2015, 09:32 AM

The Old Order and the New

Eoin O’Malley
Fianna Fáil dominated the old three-party – or two-and-a half-party system - for so long due to political skill and its good fortune in usually being out of office when recession struck. But now the old system is changing in favour of a new one in which class and demographics count for more.
Jun 7, 2015, 09:27 AM

The American Nightmare

James Wickham
A new book by Robert Putnam, whose ‘Bowling Alone’ popularised the concept of social capital, examines growing income inequality in the United States and argues that the affluent and the poor now increasingly live in worlds completely isolated from one another.
Jun 7, 2015, 09:20 AM

Between Two Rooms

Matthew Parkinson-Bennett
For many Irish emigrants, and particularly female ones and better educated ones, moving abroad has been less a question of exile than one of escape. For writers, however, there is frequently no escape from considering what it means to be Irish, or to be Irish abroad.
Jun 7, 2015, 09:04 AM

Sound, from Top to Toe

Carlo Gébler
The work of the Fermanagh poet and editor Frank Ormsby is notable for its quietness, its lucidity, its scrupulous particularity and specificity, its modesty (there is no showing off – ever), its respect for the reader, and – hold onto your hats – its accessibility.
Jun 7, 2015, 08:48 AM

Wild Geese and Clerical Bohemians

Andy Pollak
Prague’s Franciscan College, set up in the 1630s to send missionary priests back to Ireland, flourished through its contacts with an influential expatriate community of soldiers and doctors. Soon, however, it was to develop a reputation for quarrelling and irregularity.
Jun 7, 2015, 08:43 AM

Words The Wind Blew In

John Feehan
Robert Macfarlane writes of the power certain words possess to enchant our relations with nature and place, a power that comes from contact with the experienced reality of the natural world. If that power is waning, perhaps it is because such contact seldom now occurs.
Jun 7, 2015, 08:36 AM