For and Against Literary Minimalism

A brilliantly argued piece for and against literary minimalism. This is a long essay and should be read at a careful pace. I have personally been a pro-minimalist person, not as an adopted philosophy - (but because I'm a slow, lazy and easily distracted reader. Also because I get easily overwhelmed by excess. It's unsurprising how that spills into every aspect of my life - I don't understand the logic of carrying two phones or why hard copy books should be stockpiled after one has finished reading them. But that's silly me).

When it comes to writing, or generally, any creative output, I tend to favour works that strip themselves to their barest. Not as a protest against long-forms or spectacle arts. Nope. Exhibitionism - except when necessary - sometimes seem pretentious and distracting to me. But there's always a caveat of exception - as argued in this essay, where a creative work should parade itself on flowery composition, as long as it doesn't distract or eliminate from its core message. (Actually, this is where I often limit my debate about who's the greater writer between Achebe & Soyinka. Answer: None! Two brilliant writers with two different creative temperaments. None above the other. The comparison often seems malicious and mischievous).

I'm yet to read Chigozie Obioma's The Fisherman but he already impressed me with this essay.

"It is not, however, that the “less is more” nugget is wrong, it is that it makes a blanket pronouncement on any writing that tends to make its language artful as taboo. When sentences must be only a few words long, it becomes increasingly difficult to execute the kind of flowery prose that can establish a piece of writing as art... "

- The Audacity of Prose