[KB] Editing Redux

wessr at oregonstate.edu wessr at oregonstate.edu
Wed Jan 25 20:23:07 EST 2017

Hi all, interesting discussion. Just want to add a comment on the pentad--

The pentad comes from drama, of course, and drama is conflict and  
resolution. Burke sees characters and ideas as interchangeable--that  
is, characters in a drama can be viewed as ideas and ideas in a  
philosophy can be viewed as characters in a drama ("Poetic Motive," p.  
60). Ideas can conflict and their conflict can be resolved, analogous  
to drama. A particularly clear example is Burke's analysis of Kant in  
GM. Agent in Kant resolves conflict, both the particular conflict that  
Hume uncovered and that awoke Kant with a "jolt" (GM 186) and more  
generally the conflict between motion and action. Agent is where Kant  
positions both empirical science (motion) and moral freedom (action).  
Philosophy's "basic ways and aims," Burke insists, "are to be viewed  
in terms of poetic action" (GM 190).

Drama is also arguably the archetype of archetypes.


Quoting Edward C Appel <edwardcappel at frontier.com>:

> Jim M,
>           There?sno doubt that Burke did not invent or first  
> discover and explore the ?Trouble?or ?conflict? inherent in drama.  
> Such analysis has been around for a long, longtime, as we know.
> Phil,
>           Thanksfor those quotes from your letter from Burke back in  
> the 1970s. The more we getgeneral access to those more informal  
> statements of Burke?s, the better. Thenotion of Burke urging a  
> further ?perfecting? of his philosophy by his readersand  
> interpreters is both encouraging and characteristic of his style of  
> thoughtand composition.
>           JimK,
>           Yousay you basically agree with me. I say I basically  
> agree with you. In sayingthat I agree with the way you characterize  
> the pentad and its function is tosay, also, that I agree with the  
> authors of the ?Trouble[some]? article in the KBJ on that score.  
> They can?t find?Trouble? in the Grammar. There?s no need for  
> ?Trouble,? i.e.,the ?conflict? of full-fledged drama and all its  
> consequences, to be in the Grammar. These ?basic forms of[pentadic]  
> thought,? as Burke calls them, for ?attributing motives,? derived  
> asStan says from the grammar of language itself, can be used on what  
> Burkeindicates is a ?general,? high level of abstraction to bring to  
> the surface ina discourse the motivational strategies at work to  
> finesse listeners andreaders into concerted action. Those twists,  
> feints, and sleights of hand maynot be apparent on the surface.
>           WhatI disagree with in the KBJ article inquestion is the  
> authors? broader statement that ?Trouble? is not to be foundanywhere  
> in Burke?s corpus, that, indeed, this implicit and  
> ultimatelynecessary dramatic concept should be attributed to Jerome  
> Bruner, as Bruner hasinterpreted and employed Burke. Various terms  
> and uses of the ?Trouble[some]?guilt-sacrifice-redemption cycle are  
> scattered throughout Burke?s earlywritings, and then in more  
> detailed anatomical analysis, starting at least inBurke?s Princeton  
> conference paper (1951), published as an appendix to the 2ndedition  
> of P&C in 1954. Thechapter, ?The First Three Chapters of Genesis,?  
> in RR, we surely know, brings this trajectory to a most  
> thoroughgoingconclusion.
>           Now,in my Primer, I do two relevantthings: In the first  
> three chapters, I show, I do believe, how theguilt-redemption cycle,  
> or terms implicit in the idea of order, devolve fromthe pentad, or  
> the basic grammar of language. Drama in all its aspects isimplicit  
> in the language humans use even ?trivially,? as Burke says early in  
> RR, the book that brings this trajectoryof implications into full  
> view, ifelliptically. I entitled Chapter 1 in the Primer, ?The  
> General, Implicitly MoralPattern of Verbal Action?; Chapter 2, ?The  
> Specific, Explicitly Moral Patternof Verbal Action?; Chapter 3, ?A  
> Paradigm for Invention of Discourse andAnalysis of Texts That  
> Combines the Two Patterns.? This generic pattern thenbrcomes the  
> basis for distinguishing Burke?s notions of ?tragic? drama,  
> ?comic?drama, and ?burlesque? drama, by way of various levels of  
> dramatic intensity. Iadd my conception of ?melodrama,? about which  
> Burke does not have as much tosay.
> In my Addendum 3, Iexplain, in my humble way, how the pentad can be  
> detached from the trajectoryof implications Burke explicitly offers  
> in ?Terministic Screens? in LASA, and used as a ?Separate  
> CriticalTool.? I highlight three aspects of Burke?s creative  
> employment of thesefundamental grammatical concepts:
> First, in discurse, asin philosophies, one pentadic term, one of  
> these basic forms of thought, tendsto get emphasized. I tie this  
> tendency to Burke?s notions of ?perfection? or?entelechy.?
> Second, another pentadicterm will often be coupled with this source  
> of overarching explanation in whatBurke calls a ?ratio.?
> Third, these basicforms of thought that imply one another are, in  
> each case, not tied down to anyparticular entities or processes  
> whatsoever. Pentadic terms are eminently?flexible.? I use ?war? and  
> the ?human body? to show how they each can be anagent, act, purpose,  
> means, or scene, depending on the route of strategicambiguity a  
> rhetor chooses. Burke?s metaphor of the ?alembic? of  
> transformationvia the melting of metal serves as descriptive such  
> strategic transformation. Ireference Clark Rountree?s superb book on  
> ?Motives in Bush vs. Gore? asillustration.
> So I don?t think I?mstinting on the value and uniqueness of pentadic  
> theory and criticism. I justhave not personally used it. I excuse  
> that lacuna by reference to my admittedly?morbid? personality.  
> That?s what Burke says is the drawback in pentadic theoryand  
> criticism alone. It?s not MORBID enough. And ?morbid[ity]? is  
> ?Trouble?!
> All this raises theissue of late Burke in relation to early Burke.  
> My simple mind sees morecongruities than dislocations between Burke  
> before the 1950s, and Burke afterthe turn of the half-century.
> But time?s up fortoday. That question for later.
> Ed
>     On Monday, January 23, 2017 4:57 PM, James Klumpp  
> <jklumpp at umd.edu> wrote:
>  I am not certain that I disagree at all with Ed Appel.  But I do think
> that we err when we try to overburden the pentad by loading all Burkean
> insights on it.  Trouble is one of those.  We need to remember that the
> pentad was a vocabulary designed to work with variety of accounts. 
> "This book is concerned with the basic forms of thought which, in
> accordance with the nature of the world as all men experience it, are
> exemplified in the attributing of motives. . . We shall use five terms
> as generating principle for our investigation.  In a rounded statement
> about motives . . ."  Now when we accomplish this task of understanding
> the ways in which the symbol using animal attributes motives, provides
> symbolic accounts of situations, we have not said all that is to be
> said.  Very well. Why does the pentad need to capture all of the world's
> insight?  Let Ed say that the dramatistic process is necessary to a
> fuller statement about diachronic narrative (and to human conflict).  I
> am fine with that.  I agree.  And, drama is a natural metaphor because,
> Burke argues elsewhere, the state of Babel creates disorder and
> conflict, as Jim Moore adds.  But let us not lose sight of the necessary
> work that the pentad does so well -- illuminating the variety of motives
> that mark the Babel of human speech.  Let it do that work well and let
> other insights take that necessary work and proceed further in the human
> drama.
> In short, the addition of Trouble into the pentad does not enhance its
> ability to clarify accounts, in my judgment.  Save the insights that
> flow from Trouble and the many other terms of disorder that Ed has
> cataloged for a fuller discussion of the rich complex of terminologies
> of which the pentad is one.  Let the humble pentad do its work well.  If
> we do, I think that we will have less chance of losing the point that
> the pentad was posited for in the first place: to capture ways that
> symbolic accounts carve up the world differently.
> Jim Klumpp
> --
> -------------
> James F. Klumpp, Professor Emeritus
> Department of Communication, University of Maryland
> 409 Upper Haw Dr., Mars Hill, NC 28754
> Email: jklumpp at umd.edu
> Voice: 828.689.4456
> Website: http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~jklumpp/home.htm

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