ARTS AND ITS UNIVERSALITY: A CONVERSATION [1]

6 thoughts on “ARTS AND ITS UNIVERSALITY: A CONVERSATION [1]”

  1. you guys are totally missing the point. What makes a work universal? There is no universal story. saying that a work of art is universal because a writer is more elevated or is a deeper thinker is just not true. That a work is widely accepted by the general public doesn’t mean it is universal. The general public understood in particulars. When i write about my worldview, form my little village perspective and it gets world recognition, it is not because i wrote on universal concepts or because the world could relate to it. Things Fall Apart was written by an Igbo and the people who understand the book most were Igbos, yet it has world acclaim. Is the book popular because people could relate to anything there? What would a German or an Arabian have related to in the book? a writer can only write from his experience, and this experience is particular subjective and relative to the writer.

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  2. It is not as if I am asking for a universal writer or universal story. The state of affairs in the world makes it impossible to dismiss the question of universality. The universal it is that validates the particular. Achebe is a black man but a man all the same. Readers of Things Fall Apart who are white or yellow in subjectively appreciating the novel look out for the universal in the Igbo particular. They connect with the novel because they see that the personal experiences of the characters resemble their own personal experiences which they consider typical of mankind. My argument was that Achebe, though universal, was not sufficiently universal. Sublime thinking and lofty feelings alter mere craft (or bare story) and render the particular the property of the world or man (the universal). Subjective processes go beyond particulars. They are at once logical and psychological processes.

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