Read e-book online On human nature : a gathering while everything flows, PDF

By Kenneth Burke

On Human Nature: a meeting whereas every little thing Flows brings jointly the overdue essays, autobiographical reflections, an interview, and a poem by means of the eminent literary theorist and cultural critic Kenneth Burke (1897-1993). Burke, writer of Language as Symbolic motion, A Grammar of factors, and Rhetoric of causes, among different works, was once an leading edge and unique philosopher who labored on the intersection of sociology, psychology, literary conception, and semiotics. This e-book, a variety of fourteen consultant items of his effective later years, addresses many vital subject matters Burke tackled all through his occupation corresponding to logology (his try to discover a common language idea and methodology), expertise, and ecology. The essays additionally intricate Burke's notions approximately creativity and its relation to emphasize, language and its literary makes use of, the relation of brain and physique, and extra. Provocative, idiosyncratic, and erudite, On Human Nature makes an important assertion approximately cultural linguistics and is a crucial rounding-out of the Burkean corpus.

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In my subsequent criticism I have been much concerned with this aspect of the reflexive principle, whereby a work gets to the ultimate point of being inside itself. And as regards our sheerly sociopsychological inquiries here, I might point out that, although this chapter in its present form is the product of considerable revision, it stems from a story that I wrote as an adolescent student beset by an acute sense of isolation. By then its development had reached a stage of “symbolic regression” that would attain its most accurate formal representation by reduction to a story within a story, a withinness-of-withinness that was ideal for my purposes, but that I could not have made to order.

The king further burdened himself with 200 pounds of ornaments, and some several hundred wives, shown bunched in rows like a choir. And all told you could observe him being weighted down literally with the responsibilities of office, only 500 pounds of which he could transfer to the back of his slave. His immobilizing fat was presumably a mark of exceptional wealth and noble status, since only a personage of great means could afford to be so sedentary in a jungle. It contrasted with the litheness of the dancers who had come long distances to perform in his honor.

More specifically, Progressus was to represent not theoretical science, but technology—or at times, still more narrowly, engineering. He was to be a vigorous fellow, who neither smoked nor drank, let alone dabbling in the newer psychedelic media of communication for which his own prowess is responsible. It would be stacking the cards too much if I made 38 Creativity him boastful. Yet there was much that he could legitimately boast about. But what of Regresseen? When I thought of her as unfriendly to the accomplishments that Progressus celebrated, I began to feel the need of a zestful chap (let’s call him “Furioso”) who sang of the new macrogadgetry and microgadgetry much as Whitman had sung the song of the broadaxe.

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