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

Freedom’s Just Another Word

Joe Cleary
There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that rock music was foundationally both socially liberal and economically neoliberal from the mid-70s onwards. The social liberalism may have been most evident in the music, the neoliberalism in the media infrastructures that carried it.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:53 AM

Light, Dark

Neil Hegarty
In the world of Baret Magarian’s short stories, the consumption and commodification of late capitalism are examined coldly and found wanting. His characters crave worldly success, but there is a lesson to be learned: such contexts of luxury are invariably revealed as unstable.
Jun 3, 2020, 18:58 PM

The Hard Life

Ann Kennedy Smith
When he agreed to allow her to be his biographer Samuel Beckett told Deirdre Bair that his friends would help her and his enemies would also surely seek her out. She was to find that while Beckett was honourable if elusive, it could be hard to tell his friends and enemies apart.
Jun 2, 2020, 19:06 PM

Talk about a Revolution

Kevin Power
Fresh from Leaving Cert English, I wondered why so many of my university lecturers seemed more interested in overturning bourgeois liberalism than in reading novels. If what you really wanted was to be a revolutionary, why had you become a professor of English?
Jun 2, 2020, 19:01 PM

Time to Strike Out?

Rory Montgomery
That the EU functions as well as it does is an everyday miracle, made possible by an ingrained culture of compromise and commitment to ‘a shared Europe’. But from a basis of cautious pragmatism, there have also been times when the Union has deemed it essential to take a major step forward.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:53 PM

History in a Shoebox

Katrina Goldstone
The fashion writer Hadley Freeman came upon a shoebox when rummaging through her grandmother’s wardrobe. The past it hinted of led her on a hunt through the archives that eventually uncovered the tragic and inspiring history of her Jewish family’s experiences in wartime France.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:44 PM

Didn’t They Do Well?

Andy Pollak
Irish settlers in Argentina saw no contradiction between leaving a country wracked by land conflict and occupying land in the one to which they’d moved from which the native people had been expelled. For they were a civilised people and the dispossessed were savages.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:38 PM

Ireland Out of England?

John Wilson Foster
It has been suggested that a second New Ireland Forum should be convened to help dispel unionist fears of the inevitable united Ireland. Perhaps we should instead explore the intimate mutual relations between Ireland and Britain, something of a sore point, it seems, for many Irish.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:33 PM

Nuremberg Calling?

Shane Darcy
William Joyce, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, was tried in connection with his propaganda broadcasts from Nazi Germany. Treason was the charge since he was a British subject, having obtained a passport by deception. Had he been tried at Nuremberg with other Nazis he might not have hanged.
Jun 2, 2020, 12:33 PM


Sean Byrne
Bundesbank president Wilhelm Vocke retired, laden with honours, in 1957 and was replaced by Karl Blessing. Both men had cheerfully served the Nazi regime. They could be rehabilitated because they fell out with the Nazis on monetary policy, though not, it seems, on any other matter.
Jun 2, 2020, 12:04 PM

Get Happy

Michael Byrne
In a winner-takes-all society there will always be more losers, and the chance of becoming one of them is greater, breeding, in many people, anxiety, poor health, even addiction. What if economics were to treat human beings as something more than soulless choice-machines?
Jun 2, 2020, 12:01 PM

The Dying of the Light

Maura O’Kiely
After months of being diminished, pared away piece by piece, the young French woman in the hospice is brought into the garden, where she is replenished by nothing more technical than honeysuckle, bees and a blue vault of sky. She is growing while dying, before her doctor’s eyes.
Jun 1, 2020, 15:42 PM

From Little Marseille

Afric McGlinchey
A generation of poets in Cork in the 1970s came under the charismatic influence of John Montague. Although he had the holy status of an ‘Ulster poet’ he was to direct his students’ attention towards American, British and European models rather than the domestic product.
Jun 1, 2020, 15:30 PM

For the Desert Air

Thomas McCarthy
Was Ethna MacCarthy intimidated by brilliant male friends? Or was she, as an haut bourgeois Catholic, simply too well brought-up to follow her own literary ambition in this rollicking tide of masculinities? The posthumous publication of her verse shows how much we have been missing.
Jun 1, 2020, 15:21 PM

Rue For You

Amanda Bell
Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel historical novel is set in Shakespeare’s England, in a time of plague, a time when the playwright himself suffered bereavement with the death of his son Hamnet. The novel interprets the tragedy ‘Hamlet’, written a few years later, as a study in loss.
Jun 1, 2020, 15:13 PM

Holding the Fort

Gerard Horn
The fact that Trinity College, in central Dublin, was not taken by the insurgents in Easter 1916 can largely be credited to the defensive actions of colonial soldiers, including New Zealanders. The Rising, and the war that followed, put the New Zealand Irish in an invidious position.
Jun 1, 2020, 14:59 PM

Crossing Borders, Crossing Genders

Benjamin Keatinge
Pajtim Statovci’s second novel is a book in which civilisation itself is under threat and in many respects the heart of Tirana is a heart of darkness; the Albanian capital, a city that nowadays is a pleasure to visit, was, in the 1990s, a dangerous, degraded and desperate place.
Jun 1, 2020, 13:30 PM