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

The Long Slide

Magda Kay
Philip Larkin’s restless spirit could not commit to any one course: he wrote serious poems and comical ones, had serious friends and comical ones, a religious and ‘proper’ lover and a sceptical, flamboyant one; he coveted fame and luxury - bathing and booze and birds - yet was known as a hermit.
Nov 5, 2014, 18:55 PM

The Talking Cure

Seamus O’Mahony
Sigmund Freud did not care greatly for his patients, and learning and teaching were more to his taste than helping and healing. Nevertheless, psychoanalysis has become in our age the pervasive orthodoxy of self-knowledge, even if its scientific claims are on a par with those of, say, aromatherapy.
Nov 5, 2014, 18:49 PM

Hidden Irelands

Lia Mills
Celia de Fréine seems to have arrived on the literary scene late but fully formed: as though she waited until her voice was mature to publish at all. Since she started, she’s been unstoppable. In an interview, she talks about the gestation of her work and her return to earlier ‘shelved’ work.
Nov 5, 2014, 18:42 PM

Behind the Erin Curtain

Bryan Fanning
If our economic insufficiencies in the 1950s were obvious, and our attempts to address them obviously inadequate, this might not be because history, or our inescapable national character, were stacked against us. The fault, an unlikely clerical source argued, might not be in our stars but in ourselves.
Nov 5, 2014, 18:40 PM

Worlds in Words

Sean Sheehan
Scholarly research into ‘dead’ languages evolved over many centuries into an intellectual discipline which was to become the backbone of universities' humanities departments. The history of this progress is the subject of an impressive and hugely industrious new work.
Nov 5, 2014, 18:37 PM

Deeper than God

Manus Charleton
Dworkin argues that, as well as religious theists, there are many others who because they believe the universe is inherently ordered while at the same time reaching beyond our comprehension, should also be regarded as religious. He calls them religious atheists. Among scientists, Einstein is the most famous religious atheist. 
Nov 5, 2014, 17:14 PM

A Serious Business

Brian Davey
Edward St Aubyn has undoubted comic gifts, as he has proven in his previous work, but his satire on the Booker Prize judging process tacks a little too closely to burlesque. Perhaps he was having so much fun he ‘let himself go’. But satire, when it is successful, is a serious business.
Nov 5, 2014, 17:00 PM

The Gaelic Hit Factory

Michael Cronin
In what might be called the cartoon version of our modern history, the Irish language is corralled in with land and religion as a shibboleth of the anti-modern. This is to ignore elements of the language movement which were innovative, dynamic and successful.
Nov 5, 2014, 16:55 PM

Back to the Well

Fáinche Ryan
The ‘ressourcement’ movement helped create the intellectual climate for the Second Vatican Council through its critique of a theology which had as its dominant concern not so much seeking an understanding of faith and mystery, as responding to and opposing heresies.
Nov 5, 2014, 16:49 PM

Budget Ritual and Reality

John Bradley
The question we will face in the coming years is whether we can trust governments in Ireland to take wise budgetary decisions that are in the wider, long-term interests of citizens rather than in the narrow, short-term interests of politicians, lobby groups and powerful banks
Nov 3, 2014, 08:34 AM

The Lightning and the Thunder

Philip Coleman
A study marked by brilliant analyses of some remarkable works of poetry and fiction written by US authors in the first half of the twentieth century allows us to hear inflections of voice that owe much to an enchantment with Ireland – that ‘Celtic parcel of irresistible allure’.
Nov 3, 2014, 08:29 AM

The Dead Assemble

Nathan Hugh O’Donnell
The title piece in Brendan Cleary’s new collection is an elegy on the death of his brother. Overall, his poetry conveys an experience of real privation, of alcoholism and loneliness, which speaks to a wider and more long-standing reality about which we in Ireland perhaps don’t want to hear.
Nov 3, 2014, 08:17 AM

The Coast of Bohemia

Maurice Earls
One result of living behind the wall of large states that stands between us and central Europe is the tendency to see our history as somewhat unusual. Irish history is certainly very different from British, Dutch, French and Spanish imperial history but much less so if one looks a little beyond.
Nov 3, 2014, 08:10 AM

Norsemen, Normans, Wicklowmen

David Dickson
The latest volume of studies from the Friends of Medieval Dublin benefits greatly from the efforts of many young scholars, more adept at moving across disciplinary boundaries and methodologies than were some of the heroes of the first generation who fought for Wood Quay.
Nov 3, 2014, 07:58 AM

Warts and All

Patrick Gillan
John Deakin recorded in his photographs the Soho of the 1950s, a bohemia inhabited by painters like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud and poets like WS Graham and George Barker. Though his portraits are often harsh, they are not devoid of sympathy, or pity for those crushed by life.
Nov 2, 2014, 12:29 PM