Ibadan Journal of Humanistic Studies

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Wole Soyinka’s Glocal Cultural Legislation

'T Awosanmi


The Nobel Foundation‟s citation on Soyinka in 1986 as a writer “who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones, fashions the drama of existence” marks the zenith of recognition accorded his humanistic legislative mission. Implied here is a profound cultural intelligence which authenticates his cosmopolitanism. Soyinka‟s writings have been mostly appreciated through the socio-political perspective thereby submerging culture in the thematic approach. By examining Soyinka‟s cultural legislation therefore, this paper elicits his methodologies of mediating between local and foreign cultures. Focusing on Soyinka‟s creative, theoretical and philosophical productivity, culture serves as the paper‟s conceptual ferment. These are then subjected to a random content analytical process based on the writer‟s modes of cultural engagement - the poetics of autochthonous cultural archaeology and inter-culturalism. Culture is the armoury of Soyinka‟s global intellectual strength and profundity, the integrity of which resides in its radical appropriation as a strategy of existential activism. This, in effect, has actualized a process of calculated mediation in the historical tension between the „global‟ and the „local‟ thus forging a glocal cultural understanding.

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