I agree with you. But really you have a sort of minimalist philosophy there without knowing it. I'm not saying you must subscribe to a certain label about yourself, but from what you've described, I would say you are very much a minimalist.
Minimalists have created some of the best music, art, literature and cinema in modern times. My favourite minimalist classical work is Shostakovich's 5th symphony. Phillip Glass and Arvo Part are also minimalists (though one can argue a lot if Glass's music is so minimalist it's the repetition of the same thing all the time). Consider giving them a listen.
Kurt Vonnegut and Roald Dahl (his adult works) were also minimalist. Cutting out the padding, getting to the point, letting the reader fill in many of the blanks.
Minimalist philosophy, as well, has it's grand moments in works like Dao te ching, the parliament of the birds and, closer to modern times, the works of Blaguer and some of Boghosian's works are minimalist. They are well worth the read.
As for cinema. Can you think of minimalist films?
I love Philip Glass. This is the first track of the soundrack to Mishima by Glass. Please listen to the buildup, but absolute musical magic happens at 1:28!
Thanks for that Unseen, I had forgotten about that one.
I think Mishima would count as a fairly minimalist movie as well. A limited number of characters. Even the outdoor scenes are done on a set. It's a great little movie about one of the most interesting writers of the 20th Century.
He was a Japanese novelist who pined for the days of the Samurai. He was drawn toward reactionary militarist causes and in the end proved his fidelity to his ideals through a ritual suicide ending in his decapitation by katana.
There's a minimalist documentary coming out soon....
I'm not familiar with how literature can be considered "minimalist" though.....Never thought about that....hmmmmm
Kurt Vonnegut wrote a lot of books in a minimalist style. One of my top 5 books of all time is by him (Cat's cradle), which by the way, is a sustained critique of religion, superstition and indifference, is extremely minimalist. His "Breakfast of Champions" and "Slaughter House 5" are less about religion but still rather minimalist. By minimalist I mean the padding in the narrative is mostly absent (descriptive text, digressions, excessive use of adjectives, multiple plots, describing the thoughts of each character) and the pace is relatively brisk. I find minimalist works express the theme/concept/lesson more effectively than larger books, especially when each new chapter in quick succession clearly deal with the theme unrelentingly. This might explain why Paul Coelho's terrible books are so popular.
Saramago's last two books were quite minimalist as well...both also deal with atheism. The Journey of the Elephant is just on the border of minimalism and religious critique while Cain (another of my top 5) is clearly minimalist and an utter assault on Christianity. Most chapters lack periods and quotation marks as the narrative flies by. Read it for yourself and you can tell me if you agree.
Minimalist writing? Isn't that what short stories are about. One of the main dictums of writing a short story is "no more detail than is needed to tell the story."
Some of the films Glass has provided soundtracks for movies that certainly qualify in some sense of minimalism, like Koyaanisqatsi in which there is no real dialog other than that word pronounced by an ethereal voice in the beginning). Even Mishima is pretty minimalist.
Yes indeed Unseen. The one time I truly enjoyed Glass's music was watching those films! Definitely worth a watch. In the most minimalist traditions...the films say everything without saying anything.
Normally in a symphony there are at least 5 different lines of music (meaning one group of instruiments follow the same tone and rythm) and the 5 different lines can be quite different. Think of the Scherzo from Beethoven's 9th symphony and pretty much the majority of Baroque music. Minimalist music reduces this to two or three lines and even then...the lines don't differ from one another much...think Schostakovich's 5th symphony (a work written during the horrors of Stalinism which, even though minimalist has subversive messages of protest hidden within. Minimalist doesn't mean slow or simple, it's more the focus on only a few ideas and limited complexity.
Like the king said...Amadeus W. Mozart uses "too many notes" I loved that line from the flick.
Schostakovich's 5th symphony is stunning, I am surprised I liked it so much....it does get a bit monotone and forceful at times.... Debussy, Ravel and Satie manage to orchestrate one or a few parts so skillfully and beautifully... I do not consider them minimalists but some see them as beginning of the style.