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Gritty realism: 101 dead dogs

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Gritty realism: 101 dead dogs

Urban dictionary:

“No-one but film and tv critics ever use the term.”


“(film and literature) Intense, starkly realistic, especially if violent.”

Creative uses of additive Gritty Realism:

  • add to Romance for an East Enders / HBO vibe
  • add to Science Fiction for Cyberpunk
  • add to War to get either Rebel or Terror
  • add to Literary to get Charles Dickens, Ruth Rendell, Dan J Marlowe, Jim Thompson, James Ellroy…
  • add to Erotic to get AIDS

Granta, the UK book / magazine, did an issue on it a few years back.

The PEN American Center did a seminar on it recently, with topics like:

  • violence in urban environment
  • political correctness as violence
  • magical realism vs. gritty realism
  • why no politics in Latin American writing

To which we would add:

  • graffiti
  • insomnia
  • alcoholism
  • vile murder – the viler the better
  • drug abuse
  • wife abuse
  • building abuse
  • sexism
  • racism
  • pigeons
  • rats
  • slum landlords
  • and of course, dead dogs

Gritty also means sexy. And sort of crunchy. But don’t try an get a commission from Kellogg’s.

American PEN gritty conference >

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