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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
American literature, hysterical realism, postmodern literature
Dubbed maximalism by some critics, the sprawling canvas and fragmented narrative of such writers as Dave Eggers has generated controversy on the "purpose" of a novel as narrative and the standards by which it should be judged. The postmodern position is that the style of a novel must be appropriate to what it depicts and represents, and points back to such examples in previous ages as Gargantua by François Rabelais and the Odyssey of Homer, hailed as the exemplar of maximalism. --Sholem Stein

Maximalism is a term used in literature, art, multimedia and graphical design, and music to explain a movement by encompassing all factors under a multi-purpose umbrella term like expressionism.

Maximalism as a genre in the plastic arts is said to emphasise 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. This, however, is a slightly naive position which will no doubt be overridden by more complexe and more ironical definitions in the future.

This is indicated, for instance, by the fact that the term Maximalism is used to describe the extensive way of writing 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. This sort of literature is also described as hysterical realism, a term coined by James Wood, who argues that it is a genre similar to magical realism.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Maximalism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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