Dublin Review of Books

Ireland

Go out to your local bookshop, advises Enda O’Doherty, and get in close with those Books You Haven’t Read, the Books To Read Next Summer and The Books To Fill Out Those Small Gaps That Are Still There On Your Shelves. Don’t come away empty-handed. They may not be there forever.

Like Joyce’s Ulysses, Nabokov’s Lolita was once smuggled through customs in suitcases. Tim Groenland tells the unlikely story of how Nabokov’s classic ever came to be published in the first place and then go on to become a commercial success.

With German-bashing now firmly established as a European Volkssport, Dublin Review of Books editor Enda O’Doherty turns to the semi-barbarous German language; only to find that in the right hands, or expressed through the right vocal cords, German is indeed a very beautiful language.

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Brazil may have been a favourite to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But the tournament failed to be the host country’s promised game-changer, writes Tom Hennigan. As triumphs of the tropical modernist movement continue to be swamped by new development, the dismal quality of urban life remains a sore point.

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The deep historical roots of European culture may not lie in the geographical and political entity of today’s Europe. But it is precisely here that the feeling of belonging inspired by the best that has been thought and said (and sung and painted and danced) needs cultivating, argues Enda O’Doherty.

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