The Road to Victory

In an exhibit of photographic murals at the Museum of Modern Art, there was an aerial photograph of two launches, proceeding side by side on a tranquil sea. Their wakes crossed and recrossed each other in an almost infinite variety of lines. Yet despite the intricateness of the tracery, the picture gave an impression of great simplicity, because one could quickly perceive the generating principle of its design. Such, ideally, is the case with our pentad of terms, used as generating principle. It should provide us with a kind of simplicity that can be developed into considerable complexity, and yet can be discovered beneath its elaborations."

--Kenneth Burke

"Introduction," A Grammar of Motives. Berkeley: U of California P, 1969. xvi.

* Installation view of the exhibition, "Road to Victory." The Museum of Modern Art, New York. May 21, 1942 through October 4, 1942. Photograph Copyright 1997. The Museum of Modern Art. Published electronically by permission.

—David Blakesley