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Green Gogol

On realism, grimdark and childishness

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11 hours ago, SeanF said:

In many ways, the past 40 years have been extremely good for humanity.  Hundreds of millions of people in East Asia have been lifted out of dire poverty, and some very nasty dictatorships have disappeared, or. Have become less repressive.

despite that, huge numbers of people still inhabit a Game of Thrones -type world, in which violent death is a very real possibility.

And whole new repressive, nasty dictatorships either have returned, are returning, have emerged, are emerging, including right here in the USA.  As well as a whole new class of nasty, repressive, exploitive dictatorships that people, for the sake of a convenient label, call global corporate tech monopoly.  We see some of these clowns like Bloomberg and Schultz mobilizing to be president of this particular emerging nasty tyranny for fear a million or so of their billions might end going to pay for health care to the rest of us.  "Permanent backruptchy!" howls Bloomberg today.

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5 hours ago, Zorral said:

And whole new repressive, nasty dictatorships either have returned, are returning, have emerged, are emerging, including right here in the USA.  As well as a whole new class of nasty, repressive, exploitive dictatorships that people, for the sake of a convenient label, call global corporate tech monopoly.  We see some of these clowns like Bloomberg and Schultz mobilizing to be president of this particular emerging nasty tyranny for fear a million or so of their billions might end going to pay for health care to the rest of us.  "Permanent backruptchy!" howls Bloomberg today.

I do find it frightening that what we call the far right here in Quebec is on the rise everywhere in the world. It is gaining in popularity all around the world and i am less than optimistic about the future.

Your president is quite a dangerous clown.

 

Edited by Green Gogol

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14 hours ago, SeanF said:

Life for women from minor gentry backgrounds, like the Bennett sisters, would have been especially dismal c. 1800.  They would have been shunned if they had sought any kind of career in trade, while they lacked the money to live in the manner expected of them unless they made a lucky marriage.  Men from the same background did have the chance to make careers in the army, navy, and church.

I think this is at best an exaggeration. The Bennet sisters can't have careers, but they almost certainly wouldn't want them and definitely don't need them. Even in the worst case scenario where none of the five marry some heir from their father's social class who can help the rest, each of them would have £40/year of passive income which at the time is quite substantial. Given that the men with careers you mention have to marry somebody, between the two of them they'd have an income significantly greater than the vast majority of the population (though still a long way down from Mr. Bennet's £2000/year).

The problem with c. 1800 was that most people didn't live anywhere near as well as the minor gentry or even the children of the latter. The Bennet family would have been part of what today is called the 1% and Darcy would be even higher.

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7 hours ago, Altherion said:

I think this is at best an exaggeration. The Bennet sisters can't have careers, but they almost certainly wouldn't want them and definitely don't need them. Even in the worst case scenario where none of the five marry some heir from their father's social class who can help the rest, each of them would have £40/year of passive income which at the time is quite substantial. Given that the men with careers you mention have to marry somebody, between the two of them they'd have an income significantly greater than the vast majority of the population (though still a long way down from Mr. Bennet's £2000/year).

The problem with c. 1800 was that most people didn't live anywhere near as well as the minor gentry or even the children of the latter. The Bennet family would have been part of what today is called the 1% and Darcy would be even higher.

I'm not saying the Bennetts would be destitute, even if Mr. Collins had kicked them out after Mr. Bennett's death.  But, they would definitely have been shabby-genteel.  If you've been living on £2,000 a year, you're going to find it very hard to manage on £40 a year, even if you all live together and combine your incomes.

 

Edited by SeanF

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This interesting site gives comparisons of incomes and values. For 1800 vs. 2017 it gives about a factor of 1000 for the relative Income value (showing one's position in the economy as a whole) of 1 pound. So Mr Darcy got around 10 Million a year in today's terms, he clearly is top .01% or so. 40 pounds passive income looks like comfortably middle class if it is equivalent to 40,000. But the purchasing power of a pound was only about 76 pounds in today's terms! So divide the numbers above by 13. Darcy is still rich. But living on about 3000 pounds p.a. and be expected to lead a middle class life style. This will not work. Of course, this mainly shows how poor 90% of the populace was 200 years ago and that even the bourgeoisie and the shabby genteel were in precarious conditions, especially if their passive income was reduced by economic upheavals.

https://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/ukcompare/relativevalue.php

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The thing is that 'grimdark' almost makes sense because it began with GRRM and GOT.  "Grim' does indeed turn the mind to 'GRRM' whether spoken or printed.

'Noble bright' on the other hand -- as I said, the only thing that turns the mind to is auto detail shops.  Chrome! Which fairly throws the intent right outta the room.  Tone deaf! Visually too, so to speak, ah-hem, looking at it.

As far as Bennett sisters' income of 40 pounds a year -- that would barely keep them, maybe even if they all lived together.  In Austen's Emma, we see how people who live on 40 pounds a year actually barely manage, with Jane Fairfax needing a position as a governess -- who seldom got paid 40 pounds per annum.  Charlotte Bronte for instance, as a governess in a schools (schools tended to pay better than private families) only received 20 pounds.  Jane's aunt Miss Bates and grandmama living on 40 pounds -- or more likely, less, hardly even to keep a skivvy, in lodgings above a shop, making their own bread and meals, etc. Doubtless too, Miss Bates will lose even that income when her mother dies.

 

Edited by Zorral

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Stephen Donaldson says nuh-uh Glen.

 

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4 minutes ago, john said:

Stephen Donaldson says nuh-uh Glen.

 

I didn't mean to imply Cook was the first, just that grim dark has been around a lot longer then GoT.

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Makes no difference. Grim does make one think of GRRM, and the media certainly does.  Which media hasn't heard of Glenn or hardly any of the others doing it before hand.  Of course, GRRM was essentially a horror writer before he moved that fascination into epic fantasy.

Whereas noble bright hasn't ever been heard of in the media and there isn't a single genre writer whose name people automatically associate with it.

Edited by Zorral

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Grimdark really is a term lifted from Warhammer 40k, and then applied to literature pejoratively.

(Personally, I don't associate it with Martin either. The point of Grimdark is to rub your nose in the darkness of the setting, and Martin doesn't do that. The TV series does, but not the books). 

Edited by The Marquis de Leech

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9 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Grimdark really is a term lifted from Warhammer 40k, and then applied to literature pejoratively.

(Personally, I don't associate it with Martin either. The point of Grimdark is to rub your nose in the darkness of the setting, and Martin doesn't do that. The TV series does, but not the books). 

Eh, I would say that's the point of bad grimdark. :P

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13 hours ago, Jo498 said:

This interesting site gives comparisons of incomes and values. For 1800 vs. 2017 it gives about a factor of 1000 for the relative Income value (showing one's position in the economy as a whole) of 1 pound. So Mr Darcy got around 10 Million a year in today's terms, he clearly is top .01% or so. 40 pounds passive income looks like comfortably middle class if it is equivalent to 40,000. But the purchasing power of a pound was only about 76 pounds in today's terms! So divide the numbers above by 13. Darcy is still rich. But living on about 3000 pounds p.a. and be expected to lead a middle class life style. This will not work. Of course, this mainly shows how poor 90% of the populace was 200 years ago and that even the bourgeoisie and the shabby genteel were in precarious conditions, especially if their passive income was reduced by economic upheavals.

https://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/ukcompare/relativevalue.php

That's very good.  Real incomes in the. U.K. are about 12 times higher than in 1800, which demonstrates, as you say, just how poor most people were, and how close even the middle classes were to destitution, if a father were to suddenly die, or become incapable of work.

i read that a typical household income for a farm labourer would be about £18 a year, so a single woman on £40 from investments would be far better off, but the Bennetts would view that as cold comfort.

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12 hours ago, Zorral said:

The thing is that 'grimdark' almost makes sense because it began with GRRM and GOT.  "Grim' does indeed turn the mind to 'GRRM' whether spoken or printed.

'Noble bright' on the other hand -- as I said, the only thing that turns the mind to is auto detail shops.  Chrome! Which fairly throws the intent right outta the room.  Tone deaf! Visually too, so to speak, ah-hem, looking at it.

As far as Bennett sisters' income of 40 pounds a year -- that would barely keep them, maybe even if they all lived together.  In Austen's Emma, we see how people who live on 40 pounds a year actually barely manage, with Jane Fairfax needing a position as a governess -- who seldom got paid 40 pounds per annum.  Charlotte Bronte for instance, as a governess in a schools (schools tended to pay better than private families) only received 20 pounds.  Jane's aunt Miss Bates and grandmama living on 40 pounds -- or more likely, less, hardly even to keep a skivvy, in lodgings above a shop, making their own bread and meals, etc. Doubtless too, Miss Bates will lose even that income when her mother dies.

 

A criticism of some fantasy writing is that authors take the values of Jane Austen's minor gentry, and project them onto people in a medieval setting, whose values would likely be very different.  Medieval gentry had servants, but they had nothing like the prejudice against trade, or working for a living, that their counterparts had in 1800.

Martin doesn't make that mistake.  Apart from the royal Family, everyone has to work.

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But wasn't "noblebright" merely or mainly a joke as contrast to the already slightly humourous expression "grimdark"?

As I said, I don't think there is anything wrong in principle with creating exaggerated or idealized fantasy worlds. Only the justification "it really was like that" is usually phony. Because there is usually both exaggeration and countless other things that "were really like that" are made different or simply ignored, so it is always an author's choice to write torture porn or not.

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17 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I didn't mean to imply Cook was the first, just that grim dark has been around a lot longer then GoT.

True. I bet there’s even older stuff you could apply it to retroactively, Alice’s Adventures are pretty fucked up.

13 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Grimdark really is a term lifted from Warhammer 40k, and then applied to literature pejoratively.

(Personally, I don't associate it with Martin either. The point of Grimdark is to rub your nose in the darkness of the setting, and Martin doesn't do that. The TV series does, but not the books). 

I don’t think grimdark is generally a pejorative term though, or no more than fantasy itself is. Warhammer 40K stuff does depend on the setting, which has the evil forces of chaos disrupting the universe. But nowadays grimdark seems to have more to do with characters acting in a way that’s perceived to be more realistic and Martin certainly did that, although I wouldn’t say he was a forerunner of it (already mentioned Cook and Donaldson, also Friedman, JV Jones, even Jean Auel).

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15 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Grimdark really is a term lifted from Warhammer 40k, and then applied to literature pejoratively.

 

Ah -- thank you.  Know nothing whatsoever about games, so don't know that history.

 

7 hours ago, Jo498 said:

But wasn't "noblebright" merely or mainly a joke as contrast to the already slightly humourous expression "grimdark"?

 

Where I encountered it first, maybe a couple of years ago, was among (well-published) fantasy writers on the west coast of the US -- almost all of whom are female, who are in love with Chinese soap operas such as Nirvana in Fire (another name that makes no sense to me, but wth, I know nothing of Buddhism, so maybe it actually means something in English?) in which the characters love loyally all their lives and work to make a better world.  They employ 'grimdark' seriously as to what they loathe in fantasy and employ 'noble bright' as what they want instead.  I dunno.  That's why I keep asking where it came from because I dunno.

 

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There was a thread a while back about the term grimdark and the only consensus we came to was that there is no consensus. :P Even the people who make grimdark magazine can't agree on what it is.

 

As for Noble Bright, I've never seen that term used in a positive way outside of someone trying to pimp their bad self published wish fulfillment fantasy.

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