‘There’s something grim about the empty cans in the bin beside my desk. They speak of a dependence, not on some glamorous illicit substance, but on the rough distillation of centuries of masculinity left unchecked.’
In the winter issue of the Dublin Review, Roisin Kiberd writes about her history – and ours – with energy drinks, which fuel ‘an ever-accelerating cycle of work and consumption, work and consumption, work and consumption’. She discovers that there is nothing new about energy drinks, finding tangled origins in nineteenth-century fiction and various old tonics and elixirs; considers ‘a future in which we are dependent on a single drink not only for energy, but for all of the body’s sustenance’; and meditates on her recurrent belief that she is ‘not capable of carrying out in writing the ideas I have myself conceived’ – a worry for which energy drinks are her remedy of choice.
Also in the winter Dublin Review, Doireann Ní Ghríofa recounts a disastrous year as a dentistry student through the prism of her anatomy lab and her lingering obsession with the high-windowed room in which the human dissection took place. In ‘Bullock’, Eileen P. Keane recalls the weekend of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland in 1979, when she was poised uncomfortably between childhood and adult responsibility. Nathan O’Donnell narrates a day trip to Manchester, haunted by wars past and present, and by dark memories of his unhappy stint living there. Also, short stories by Joe Davies, Darragh McCausland and Philip Ó Ceallaigh.