The Dubliner Diaries
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In the summer of 2000, a young Irish journalist returned from New York to launch a magazine about life in boomtown Dublin. The Dubliner was an instant failure, and within a few months, it was close to bankruptcy. For the next seven years, Trevor White struggled to keep the magazine afloat. Along the way, he managed to alienate nearly everyone in Ireland. The Dubliner Diaries is an awkward history of the Celtic Tiger by a man who tried to capture it and ended up being mauled. It was not for the lack of quality, that was for sure, and sometimes the quality was nearly too good, as in witty and cerebral arts coverage, classy original photography and often obscure topics. The reality is that, on its own, the magazine was too ambitious for a small market such as Ireland, and in the same period, other titles such as The Village and Magill, have more or less ceased publication. As Trevor writes in this excellent and revealing diary of his time at the magazine, the Irish public is not so interested in a "magazine of ideas" and there is "downright contempt for the same among some media professionals". The most accurate picture of the culture is not literary fiction, he continues, "but the women who write inconsequential novels about girls who dream of love, celebrity or a house on Shrewsbury Road. It is strange that rampant individualism might lead to such blandness and conformity. That was not a happy conclusion". Today the Dubliner is a weekly supplement accompanying the Evening Herald, where it retains all of its original energy and often irritating, opinionated qualities.