Grim/dark = realistic? Where did this idea come from? - Page 2

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Thread: Grim/dark = realistic? Where did this idea come from?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    [Game of Thrones] is painted with the same breadth of colours as real life.

    Is it? It always looks so gray. . .


    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    Superhero stuff particularly just appears to be an attempt to have all the thrills of a rollercoaster ride without the tortuous assent. Life is ups and downs, and its reasonable to want that in your literature/film.

    It is right that it should be so, man was built for joy and woe.
    Yes, that is reasonable. That's part of what I'm arguing--life contains both joy and sorrow, and both the grim tropes and the heroic tropes are derived from reality. I'm not a big fan of most superhero movies, but even those contain ups and downs. I also would say that the "torturous ascent" itself can often contain both light and dark. A lot of my favorite works are that way. The Man Who Was Thursday is a wild, hilarious ride, but there's a kind of existential terror woven though it so it doesn't feel "fluffy." Evil Dead 2 makes you laugh one moment and hide your eyes the next. Those always seem to represent reality best even if they're not "grounded" in the traditional sense.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Maybe the things you complain about with the movie are why Stephen King didn't like it? If you've ever read The Shining you'll know that none of the faults you attribute to the movie exist in the book. All of Stanley Kubrick's movies have that "flatness" you noted in The Shining, that sense of disconnectedness is one of his trademarks.
    Yes, probably. I really should have read the novel first but my family was on a horror movie kick. It didn't strike me as being particularly realistic either but that was this fan's claim, and it's a claim I often hear used to explain disconnectedness, flatness, boring characters, jerk characters, etc.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  3. #13
    The world is mostly cruel and harsh. That isn’t really an opinion or a value judgment, it’s more of a statistical fact. Millions of people die yearly and a huge percentage of them in ways that are unjust and preventable. And that’s just death.
    The idea that cruelty or harshness even exists is a value judgement.
    Most of us find happiness in short, fleeting moments between the struggle of life.
    I subjectively disagree. I think this type of grimness is a product of a society that has lost its way in the universe. It reminds me of a man wandering through a black forest, occasionally encountering light and taking joy in it, but never trying to follow the light itself.
    It's like romance being seen as fluff reading for fluff women who have nothing better to do. Anything to put the genre in its place alongside the little women, bless their cotton socks for attempting to read or write it, because it's not 'serious reading' right?
    I honestly feel like we learn more about human nature by reading pulp and fluff than we do from reading 'deep' intellectual writing. Another important thing to note is that 'gritty' and 'grounded' don't equate to grimdark.
    Last edited by BornForBurning; June 21st, 2019 at 04:18 AM.
    Dead by Dawn!

  4. #14
    We could shake our collective fists and decry the current state of art, or we could spend that emotional energy writing something better.
    Personally I delight in watching many of these movies and shows that are being discussed. I have a massive appetite for media, and I also want variety.
    So I gobble up the mass media, consume it, digest it, and try to write the nextgen.


    See, before Private Ryan, directors took great pains to stabilize cameras.
    But then Spielberg showed them a new way to tell a gritty story...then all of a sudden everyone was using shaky cameras.
    That was nextgen for cinematography.
    I wanna do that to writing.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    We could shake our collective fists and decry the current state of art, or we could spend that emotional energy writing something better.
    Yeah, it's probably more productive to just write good stuff, but I enjoy analyzing other people's work. Especially if there's a movement or assumption that spans across multiple authors and genres. It makes me curious what the roots of it are.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by BornForBurning View Post
    I subjectively disagree. I think this type of grimness is a product of a society that has lost its way in the universe. It reminds me of a man wandering through a black forest, occasionally encountering light and taking joy in it, but never trying to follow the light itself.
    That's the feeling I get, too. There's a kind of fiction that depicts life as an aimless wandering. And then there's a kind of fiction that, however dark, depicts life as a journey towards something.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  7. #17
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord View Post
    ...but the real question is whether any of it actually matters.
    Amen!
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  8. #18
    "...but the real question is whether any of it actually matters."


    It does if you learn from it.

  9. #19
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord View Post
    I, for one, find the baseline value judgment behind this type of writing to be obviously lacking. Why are splattered entrails "real" and happy babies not? Why is terror or despair "real" and beauty or heroism not? Take even some truly grim aspect of reality, like war, and you will find humor, flickers of light and beauty, and, yes, real heroes.
    I would like to peg this on art and method of contrast, but it is really much deeper than that.

    It goes back to the philosophical view of the writer/producer and of the consumers who drive this demand, all contributing to the normalization of values and moral expectations within society.

    If there is no ultimate value, or if there is no such thing as truth or goodness or morality, or if this life is confined to the physical world, then we end up normalizing a fragmented view of the world. This, in turn, has generated a leisure culture of elitism that celebrates the powerful, the meaningless, or the grotesque. The result is that we relieve ourselves of the consequences for our actions because everything is then a construct of language or of the mind and nothing exists outside of ourselves.

    However, if there really are things like ultimate value, truth, goodness, and morality, and if life is more than this physical world, then there exists the potential for us as human beings to become more than we really are. Then the normalization of values and morality comes from without; our standard is no longer ourselves. The result is, we become responsible for the consequences for our actions. Everything, then (by necessity), becomes accountable to something outside of ourselves.

    The truth is, our view of reality doesn't change reality.

    What matters is if we are in-line with that reality.


    Soli Deo Gloria.
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord View Post
    My point is not that the world is overall pleasant. My point mostly swings on what separates the current "darker and grittier" movement from just dark fiction in general, which is the tendency (need?) to present right action or moments of hope as invalidated by the harshness of the world. I also see an invalidation of the meaning of the events of life. But that, I don't think, actually does represent the "real world." In the real world, pain and joy walk surprisingly close in step. If you talk to any of those people you mentioned--the homeless, the impoverished, the wronged--you will not find a grim monochrome of hopelessness. People respond to pain and struggle in many ways. My mom was molested as a child. She also grew up to be, quite literally, the most joyful person I have ever met. The value judgement comes in when someone looks at something like that and says the pain is "real," but the joy despite the pain is only naive idealism.
    [snip]
    I guess this is where some of the subjectivity comes in. I'm happy more than a decent chunk of the time, but that's not even the basis of my argument. You can count your blessings or your struggles, but the real question is whether any of it actually matters.
    I don't get why you seem set on conflating dark fiction with hopelessness. Some dark fiction is...but believe it or not that isn't every story, or even most. It's certainly not the ones that are worth reading, IMO.

    Have you read King's original novel of The Shining? The ending is actually surprisingly optimistic. It's certainly not hopeless. Danny Torrance and his mother escape The Overlook and Danny, who starts off the book, makes a real friend in Hallorahan (not sure if I spelled that right) and with all things considered it's a happy ending: They start to rebuild. It's certainly not a monochrome and there are moments of joy in the novel, however few - it is a horror novel.

    It's always dangerous to conflate movies with writing, IMO. If the movie differs (and it does) that's a reflection on the problem of movies generally. They are short so there is less depth and nuance and more emphasis on shock.

    I also don't understand why you seem to believe that reflecting happy or optimistic aspects of the world condemns your work to be labeled idealistic or naive. That's only true if you write idealistically or naively. One of my favorite books is Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea and it's a fairly optimistic, PG-13 friendly novel, on the whole. Arguably, it's actually a Christian novel - there's a lot of references and themes. But what's not arguable is that it hits home and is utterly authentic as a 'slice of life'.

    I feel that the main thing is to achieve balance. Idealism happens when your stories feature sappy love scenes with radiant sunsets and everybody is basically a good person with good motivations and the whole story is just unbalanced. Idealism is a Hallmark greeting card or a grocery store romance or the end of a 1960's Disney movie. Idealism is when there's no bite of real, practical problems - when the princess is always made up and the prince never has B.O.

    Avoiding that should be common sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by BornForBurning View Post
    The idea that cruelty or harshness even exist is a value judgement.

    But it's also a widely accepted truth that is easily provable via statistics, unless you want to argue that the morality of things 99.9% of everybody agrees are cruel (such as murdering children) are somehow debatable. And that isn't an argument I personally am prepared to have. Certainly not on here.
    Last edited by luckyscars; June 21st, 2019 at 05:25 AM.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

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