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Kenneth Burke

(1897—1986)


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(1897–1986),

literary and philosophic critic, whose books include Counter-Statement (1931); Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose (1935), a philosophic investigation of the evolution of ethical ideas; Attitudes Toward History (2 vols., 1937), a psychological interpretation of historical events and characters; The Philosophy of Literary Form (1941), A Grammar of Motives (1945), and A Rhetoric of Motives (1950), linguistic analyses interpreting human motives; The Rhetoric of Religion (1961), further “studies in logology”; Perspectives by Incongruity (1964); Language as Symbolic Action (1966) and Dramatism and Development (1972). Towards a Better Life (1932) contains fictive “epistles and declamations”; The White Oxen (1924) prints stories; and poems are gathered in Book of Moments (1955) and Collected Poems (1968). He was awarded the National Medal for Literature in 1980.

Subjects: Literature.


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