Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric and Ideology

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In a career of over seventy years, Kenneth Burke has produced a body of challenging and fascinating theoretical work. This work has had a bigger reputation than it has had a readership. Burke has been hailed not only as a strong precursor of the work of Fredric Jameson, Frank Lentriccia, and others, but also as a powerful original thinker whose writings have yet to be grappled with.

Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric and Ideology is a lucid and accessible introduction to a major twentieth-century thinker whose ideas have influenced fields as diverse as literary criticism, philosophy, linguistics, politics, anthropology and sociology. Stephen Bygrade explores the content of Burke's vast output, theorizing the cultural and philosophical implications of his work.

Bygrave's rigorous arguments focus around Burke's preoccupation with the relationship between language, ideology, and action. This book traces Burke's ``rhetorical strategies'' and argues that they form a bridge between ``action'' and ``symbolic action.'' By considering Burke as a reader and writer of narratives and systems, Bygrade examines the inadequacies of earlier readings of Burke and enfolds his thought within current debates on Anglo-American cultural theory.

By reinstating Burke into contemporary cultural theory, this book offers a way of reading his ideas, as well as introducing students of literature and cultural studies to the range of ideas found in his work.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Editor's foreword
Introduction 1
1 Equipment for living 19
2 A god coming down to earth 35
3 The spiritual counterpart of roadways 57
4 This alchemic centre 77
Conclusion: strategies 107
Notes 115
References 119
Index 121
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