Dum Pendebat Filius

A sniff in the kortevar, that what you cry for, yeled? A prert up the cull, a prang on the dumpendebat?

Dirty Realism

While I’m on this quasi-literary bent, readers, let me ask you a couple of questions: Do you remember the “Dirty Realism” movement in American fiction? It was given a sort of de facto canonization with Granta 8 (summer 1983) and Granta 19 (Fall 1986). Among the “Dirty Realists” were the following:

  • Richard Ford
  • Jayne Anne Phillips
  • Tobias Wolff
  • Raymond Carver

I think it’s safe to say that Raymond Carver will continue to be read and taught in the future; there was a time when everybody wanted to write the way he wrote, but his reputation seems safe from future iconoclasts nonetheless. He’s officially a Great American Writer.

Tobias Wolff seems to have “peaked” when This Boy’s Life was made into a feature film starring Robert DeNiro, young Leo DiCaprio, and Ellen Barkin. I don’t know what happened to Jayne Anne Phillips, who showed promise; she quietly published several novels, to little attention or fanfare. Richard Ford, although talented, seems to me unlikely to stand the test of time. His work already seems dated and tiresome to me, in a way that Carver’s does not. Why is that? What did Raymond Carver have that Richard Ford didn’t have? Was “Dirty Realism” just a flash in the pan?

Why is the execrable garbage that Philip Roth puts out still lauded to the skies, by the way? Why is he such a critical darling?

Filed under: Literature by dumpendebat at 2005/10/02 - 20:18


  1. lycfyg:

    Love your blog now! Book reviews are a better venue anyway.
    Hank and I take it that the LibAvenger, Dada and you have decided not to answer the questions:
    1) Name one liberal/Democratic Party solution that has ever worked?
    2) How would you fight the war on terror?

    Not suprising. We only had one liberal try to answer question one. That was Liberal Lou - who now writes Kool-aid Subliminal, another copy-paste blog of liberal lies.
    He did it by naming EVERY government social program! Every one of them. LOL. When we pointed out the failures in all of them (found on our sister site - liberalquicksand.com), he stopped writing.
    He - as a liberal is consistent. He quit taking comments on his blog also. Truth hurts his ears I guess.
    Anyway, we are just looking for the intellectually honest admittance that you cannot answer either question - instead of just dropping out of the conversation.
    LA, Dada and Koolaid have. Will you?

  2. dumpendebat:

    It’s like a broken record here. You say the same thing over and over again.

    Tell me how it is that “you and Hank take it that I have decided not to answer the questions.” Do you honestly not remember that we have had these discussions already? Why should I bother responding to you if you’re going to keep this up?

    Hank was dissatisfied with my answer to the first question there, and he said I “went to my happy place” with my answer. That’s when he decided I could be “redeemed” or something. Remember that? Does that ring a bell?

    We’ve had at least two lengthy discussions about the war on terror. Where were you, on vacation in the Swiss Alps, far from the nearest Internet access? Are you going to tell me that didn’t happen? Was it all a dream?

    If you want to claim you refuted my answers, and defeated me in some battle of wits, guess what? That’s fine by me. Go for it.

    But will you do me a favor and stop pretending I haven’t answered them? This is starting to annoy me.

  3. lycfyg:

    Dump, we are both intellegent people. Let’s be honest here.
    You never said how you would fight the war on terror. You asked Hank QUESTIONS on his position on the war on terror - which was fine. It made great reading and was educational for the readers.
    But you never said how YOU would fight it.

    As for our ‘happy place’ response, I must apologize. I remember our answer now that you say that - lol, but I don’t remember your answer. My guess is the discussion stopped after we destroyed your attempt. I would remember an honest debate. Remind me, please.
    I am not trying to annoy, but trying to debate.
    I told you - we can get you away fron the dark side if we can get you to actually analyze the left’s true ideology. You are worth saving.

  4. nostalgiphile:

    To the rightwing college republican guy’s question about a good liberal Dem policy/program: how about Social Security? How about the GI Bill? The war on terror? It has to be a legal war (was it John Edwards who said that?). Hah, these questions are pretty easy in fact. Btw, FDR is still the greatest Democrat to ever hold office. Future Dem hopefuls should look to him as their guiding Saint.

  5. dumpendebat:

    If you are interested in communicating with “Hank Dagny” and “Lycfyg,” check out their website, Liberal Quicksand.

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