Art is a lie that brings us nearer to the truth (Pablo Picasso). Evaluate this claim in relation to a specific art form.
THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE
“Art is a lie that brings us nearer to the truth” (Pablo
Picasso). Evaluate this claim in relation to a specific art form.
Art is the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. Consequently, relating the truth in an artwork depends on how aesthetically an author wants to show his work. Truth is something that has conformity with fact or reality. “An author corresponds his artwork through literary imagination, as a way of getting his message across to the audience. Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.”
Samuel butler said ‘Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.’ A literary work has some subjectivity in it so my knowledge issues are “Can subjective communication of thoughts hide the truth of an art? Or truth is such a thing that cannot be fully revealed through subjective medium.”
Emotions, reasoning and language play a major role in spreading truth through a literary work so with regard to my knowledge issues I am taking emotion, reasoning and language as my ways of knowing and exploring the knowledge issues in the area of knowledge art.
With literature, at times when a writer claims something, within his work he does give some example and proves it right or wrong and we accept whatever the claim is as truth regardless of the fact that the story in which he is proving something as truth is fictional. What a writer writes is his point of view hence, when art is displayed truthfully the way it is, it may not have the right appeal to the readers consequently art that is truthful could be labeled as an unaesthetic work “By ‘unaesthetic’ I understand a relation of philosophy to art that, maintaining that art is itself a producer of truths, it makes no claim to turn art into an object for philosophy. Against aesthetic speculation, unaesthetic describes the strictly intra-philosophical effects produced by the independent existence of some works of art.” Sometimes Even if the writer shows a truth that in reality exists, the way he depicts it might change it’s complete meaning and can fail to convey what he is trying to say to the readers through his work. This shows that literature doesn’t always define reality but is close to it and that sometimes it could be that people tend to not accept the truth simply because they are not ready to accept it.
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Emotions are mode of influence as emotions can lead us closer to the way we see truth. Our emotions affect the meaning because they can either draw us or influence our perception of the literature work. In literature, even a story that is not true can show the reality of the society or life for example in twilight Stephenie Meyer wrote “hasn’t anyone ever told you? Life isn't fair.” Stephenie Meyer, her novel shows how the character faces problems in her life and then claims that life isn’t fair. Those readers who faced a lot of problems in their life and they relate themselves to this character might take this as truth.
Even if a writer shows truth in his work a reader will not acquire it unless he has the same emotions while reading it in line with the way the writer felt about the character while writing it. Emotions cannot take us close to truth, in the case of those readers who never face the same problems as the character. For them Stephenie Meyer’s quote wouldn’t be relatable to their lives. So to bring out the truth from a literature work, readers need to feel how the writer felt.
Emotions can take us close to truth only if the reader can relate to the author’s claim in the sense what the author thinks or the experiences faced by a character in the novel.
Sometimes the Language used in art is powerful enough to bring us closer to truth. The writer’s language does affect a reader’s mind. Rabindranath Tagore, who won the Nobel Prize for Gitanjali, is the best example of those authors whose main focus is not to make a work aesthetic but to show the reality. The power of language is used to show the reality not to make it artistic “Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!” In Gitanjali, Rabindranath Tagore effectively used the language to expose the harsh realities of Indian society, which was castridden, irrational and extremely religious. It was the power of the language, which Rabindranath Tagore used in Gitanjali that touched everyone’s heart. It’s the language that forced readers to accept the truth that existed but wasn’t really accepted.
Language used in literary work doesn’t always lead us to the truth and sometimes it fails to spread the message among the society. I think the best example for this claim is Harry potter. Harry potter series got phenomenal success, in my opinion it’s because of its uniqueness. The use of powerful language made it aesthetic. When we look at Harry potter as a literary work, in my point of view it’s nothing but an imaginary world’s story that is not relatable. Its powerful language earned fame but didn’t depict any truth.
Reasoning also plays a major role while understanding the truth. For example in king Lear William Shakespeare wrote "When we are born, we cry, that we are come to this great stage of fools.’ The scientists have their own explanation to this phenomenon whereas on the other hand we see William Shakespeare giving some other explanation so to understand it we need a huge amount of reasoning. To understand this claim’s truth we need to know in what sense the author is calling everyone a fool. Some claims like this have deeper meaning and if we don’t use reasoning, the meaning we draw out of it might not lead us to the truth. Reasoning helps us to understand the sense in which an author writes a particular work.
However reasoning doesn’t always help us interpret a particular piece of work for the reasons that there are some literary works in which even reasoning won’t take you to the truth. For example, Alice adventures in wonderland is a novel full of fantasy and doesn’t have anything else that’s relatable even if we apply high level of reasoning we won’t be able to get any truth out of it because not even reasoning can show what doesn’t exists in a particular novel.
As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.” So unless an author writes what people from all societies and different background can understand he will not be able to show his literary work’s truth to everyone. So the subjectivity of an artwork can hide the truth in it Sometimes an author uses lot of imagery in order to try and make his work more artistic and unique than most other works, however, at times he does not consider that if its not done in a very careful manner it might make his work very complex and in turn it could confuse the people reading it, or it could misinterpreted. Language should be used to show the truth not to make a literary work aesthetic. Use of different emotions should be according to readers because if they can feel the same as the character of the literary work does than they can understand it better. Some author writes in order to sell and some to expose a truth to society but a true art is a perfect combination of both. True author is an author who knows how to keep a balance of truth and beauty in a work. By beauty I mean the artistic features of a novel. So not all arts bring us nearer to the truth as sometimes language and emotion comes as an obstacle between the truth and us.