Dublin Review of Books
The Dublin Review of Books is a free online journal of ideas, appearing quarterly. It publishes chiefly review-essays (“long-form” essays, generally from 3,000 to 6,000 words), which in most but not all cases are tied to recently published books, usually but not always in English. Its particular interests and strengths lie chiefly in literature and history, but it also publishes in the fields of politics, economics, sociology, music, visual arts and science. Many, perhaps most, of the review’s contributors are university teachers, but it sees itself not so much as an academic review as a bridge between the academy and a wider readership of intelligent citizens. In general, between a third and a half of its content is related to Ireland and Irish questions. Otherwise, the review takes a very strong interest in Europe, its literary and cultural heritage, its turbulent twentieth century history, and the future of its institutions and forms of government.
Born into a cosmopolitan Jewish family, Ferenc Fejtő lived a turbulent youth as a Marxist and social democrat in Horthy’s Hungary. Having fled just before the fascist rise to power, he led a more comfortable life as a journalist and historian of eastern Europe in Paris, remaining within the left even after his disillusionment with communism.
September’s Czech Republic First! demonstrations combined legitimate concerns about the cost of living with pro-Kremlin propaganda. But the Czech PM’s wholesale dismissal of the protesters as Putin’s stooges could not conceal a genuine policy failure.
With the first round of French elections fast approaching, opinion polls suggest a close contest at the top. So how has Le Pen managed to overcome the impact of new far-right contender Zemmour? And what might this mean for Macron’s centrist politics and the future of the Left, including the Greens?
A common currency, a single passport and a European anthem: all were originally the ideas of Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi. But though the founder of the pan-Europa movement was ahead of his time in many ways, impatience with institution-building meant his concrete achievements remained limited.
Many of the early twentieth-century champions of eugenics were social democrats and feminists. All shared a belief that science and technocracy could re-engineer society for the better. Attempts to institutionalize eugenics coincided with the emergence of welfare states and infrastructure to monitor the ‘feebleminded’.
Milan Kundera defined a European as someone who is nostalgic for Europe. But one need not share this pessimism to derive nourishment from European intellectual and cultural traditions. On the idea of Europe in the work of five Central European writers of the twentieth century.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline based a literary reputation on transgression. He was a prototypical troll, contemptuous of the truth, indefatigable in saying the unsayable, and couching his hatred in irony. And like trolls, he poses a dilemma: engage or ignore?
Radically divergent visions
Ireland, Poland and the Western Balkans after the EP election
The European elections have been key to determining citizens’ priorities, albeit with one significant caveat in Ireland. In Poland, voters clearly care more about social welfare than abstract issues like rule of law. And issues of real consequence for the Western Balkans may finally be addressed, now that the elections are over.
The smugness of some Irish commentary on Brexit is ill-advised, writes Maurice Earls. Brexit is not an aberration but the expression of a deep-rooted cultural attitude – one that won’t simply disappear under the wheel of progress. Failure to grasp this could prove dangerous for the European Union.
‘Il Mulino’ calls on all Europeans; ‘Dublin Review of Books’ advocates a clean break; ‘Esprit’ hears first hand from whistle-blowers; ‘Index on Censorship’ reports on local news worldwide; and ‘Revolver Revue’ talks about the things that cannot be forgiven.
Repairing trust in federation
Poland, Cyprus and Ireland before the EP election
In the run up to the European Parliamentary elections in May, editors from the Eurozine network will be reporting on national debates from across the EU. First up in the series are views from Kraków, Nicosia and Dublin.
The tales of Austrian greatness and ethnic purity conflict with current-day Vienna’s diversity. Enda O’Doherty confronts touristic narratives with the controversies of Austrian history.
‘Soundings’ gets down to the nitty gritty of opposition; ‘Czas Kultury’ says LGBT+ in Poland has lost its way; ‘Dublin Review of Books’ reflects on Trumpian neediness and British moralism; ‘dérive’ examines informality in Vienna, Belgrade and Paris; ‘Atlas’ considers religious atheists, social outcasts and a cause without rebels; and ‘New Literary Observer’ closes in on Franco Moretti’s distant reading.
The ‘Irish slaves meme’– assertions that Irish immigrants to the US were once slaves – has been mobilized by the alt-right to promote a white nationalist agenda based on claims of victimhood. Yet its popularity cannot simply be blamed on the online propaganda of white supremacist groups, argues Bryan Fanning.
Understanding Brexit means understanding the history of English exceptionalism, writes Maurice Earls, editor of ‘Dublin Review of Books’. Anti-Catholicism, maritime expansionism, wartime heroism: the myth of splendid isolation is the common thread. With a hard Brexit looming, however, England may yet come around to the benefits of team-play.
The break-down in the latest round of talks between Greek and Turkish Cyprus has frustrated hopes about an imminent end to the decades-old conflict. However, comparison with the Irish peace process suggests that a solution could still be a generation away.