Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fuck Grimdark

Cecily Kane's Storify, Fuck Grimdark.

I haven't read a lot of Grimdark.

Two quick questions (to myself really):

* How does something like Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, or even Cervante's Don Quixote, dovetail with Grimdark? I.e. how should Grimdark be located within the larger history of chivalries and cynicisms?

* Does Mary Gentle's Ash (2000) ever get mentioned in the context of Grimdark? It doesn't have a presiding spirit of nihilism or anything like that. But it has a lot of horrible, entirely unromantic violence. It has some rape. It has a lot of dragging chivalric romance into the mundane details of managing a company of mercenaries. It has, alongside the telepathic pyramids, a lot of gratuitous realism. It has nihilistic and morally ambiguous characters, and dry sarcasm. It has people shitting themselves and things like that. I see two possibilities:

(a) it is Grimdark, and if the Grimdark canon is expanded with a few more works like it, suddenly it's more interesting and complex than its critics have been hitherto justified in says; OR
(b) perhaps fans of Grimdark aren't being entirely honest about what defines the genre?

But I haven't read a lot of Grimdark.

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