Description : From the Preface:The title for this collection was the title of a course in literary criticism that I gave for many years at Bennington College. And much of the material presented here was used in that course. The title should serve well to convey the gist of these various pieces. For all of them are explicitly concerned with the attempt to define and track down the implications of the term "symbolic action," and to show how the marvels of literature and language look when considered form that point of view.
Description : Kenneth Burke's innovative use of dramatism and dialectical method have made him a powerful critical force in an extraordinary variety of disciplines—education, philosophy, history, psychology, religion, and others. While most widely acclaimed as a literary critic, Burke has elaborated a perspective toward the study of behavior and society that holds immense significance and rich insights for sociologists. This original anthology brings together for the first time Burke's key writings on symbols and social relations to offer social scientists access to Burke's thought. In his superb introductory essay, Joseph R. Gusfield traces the development of Burke's approach to human action and its relationship to other similar sources of theory and ideas in sociology; he discusses both Burke's influence on sociologists and the limits of his perspective. Burke regards literature as a form of human behavior—and human behavior as embedded in language. His lifework represents a profound attempt to understand the implications for human behavior based on the fact that humans are "symbol-using animals." As this volume demonstrates, the work that Burke produced from the 1930s through the 1960s stands as both precursor and contemporary key to recent intellectual movements such as structuralism, symbolic anthropology, phenomenological and interpretive sociology, critical theory, and the renaissance of symbolic interaction.
Description : "The system is a coherent and total vision, a self-contained and internally consistent way of viewing man, the various scenes in which he lives, and the drama of human relations enacted upon those scenes."—W. H. Rueckert, Kenneth Burke and the Drama of Human Relations
Description : "'What is involved, when we say what people are doing and why they are doing it? An answer to that question is the subject of this book.'"--Mr. Burke, as quoted on the cover.
Description : This volume contains the work Burke planned to include in the third book in his Motivorum trilogy. Following Rueckert's Introduction, Burke lays out his approach in essays that theorize and illustrate the method, which he considered essential for understanding language as symbolic action and human relations generally.
Description : Kenneth Burke may be best known for his theories of dramatism and of language as symbolic action, but few know him as one of the twentieth century�s foremost theorists of the relationship between language and bodies. Moving Bodies presents him as a major transdisciplinary theorist of the body. Debra Hawhee focuses on Burke�s studies from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s while illustrating that his interest in reading the body as a central force of communication began early in his career and continued to inform his work over more than six decades. Burke examined the human body as a participant in thought rather than as the mind�s binary Cartesian opposite, grappling with notions of physical form as a corporeal intellect, the mental and biological interwoven within one life. By exploring his extensive writings on the subject alongside revealing considerations of his life and his scholarship, Hawhee maps his recurring invocation of a variety of perspectives in order to theorize bodies and communication, including music, mysticism, endocrinology, evolution, speech-gesture theory, and speech-act theory, as well as his personal experiences with pain and illness. Hawhee shows that Burke�s goal was to advance understanding of the body�s relationship to identity, to the creation of meaning, and to the circulation of language. Her study brings to the fore one of Burke�s most important and understudied contributions to language theory, and she establishes Burke as a pioneer in a field where investigations into affect, movement, and sense perception broaden understanding of physical ways of knowing.
Description : A valuable feature of the second edition (1953) of Counter-Statement was the Curriculum Criticum in which the author placed the book in terms of his later work. For this new paperback edition, Mr. Burke continues his "curve of development" in an Addendum which surveys the course of his though in subsequent books (up to the publication of his Collected Poems, 1915 - 1967) and work-in-progress.
Description : On Human Nature: A Gathering While Everything Flows brings together the late essays, autobiographical reflections, an interview, and a poem by the eminent literary theorist and cultural critic Kenneth Burke (1897-1993). Burke, author of Language as Symbolic Action, A Grammar of Motives, and Rhetoric of Motives, among other works, was an innovative and original thinker who worked at the intersection of sociology, psychology, literary theory, and semiotics. This book, a selection of fourteen representative pieces of his productive later years, addresses many important themes Burke tackled throughout his career such as logology (his attempt to find a universal language theory and methodology), technology, and ecology. The essays also elaborate Burke's notions about creativity and its relation to stress, language and its literary uses, the relation of mind and body, and more. Provocative, idiosyncratic, and erudite, On Human Nature makes a significant statement about cultural linguistics and is an important rounding-out of the Burkean corpus.