Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Maximalism is a term used in literature, art, and music to apply to post-minimalist movements or works, named in analogy with minimalism. It is not currently in wide use, though it has become more prominent as of 2004.
Maximalism as a genre in the plastic arts emphasises work-intensive practices and concentrates on the process of creation itself. Works from this genre are generally bright, sensual, and visually rich. Artists who do work described as maximalist tend to come from Asian countries, in particular China.
Maximalism is used to describe the very extended post-modern novels, such as those by David Foster Wallace and Thomas Pynchon, where digression, reference, and elaboration of detail occupy a greater and greater fraction of the text. It is also called hysterical realism, a term coined by James Wood, who argues that it is a genre similar to magical realism.
In the more general sense "maximalism" is applied to any doctrine or school of thought that extends its basic principles to the largest possible area. For example a "maximalist" vision of a nation state is one that encompasses all of the areas where the nationality is abundant, a "maximalist" program in science asserts the strongest possible form of its axioms.
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