[KB] Editing Redux

Leslie Bruder bruderian at gmail.com
Thu Jan 26 13:05:11 EST 2017

Burke was careful to avoid the word archetype, though I am not sure why.
William Rueckert in *The Drama of Human Relations* says tragedy is Burke’s
representative “anecdote.”  In *Counter-Statement* metaphysical universals
become psychological universals, the divine forms become “conditions of
appeal,” and a consequence of the naturalization of these universals is to
convert them into the tools of the craftsman or wordsmith (reversal,
contrast, crescendo, repetition, balance, etc.,).  *Dramatism* as a
full-fledged theory emerges from the process of refinement going on in his
early work.  Rueckert sizes it up concisely (trues it up): every poem is
simultaneously revelation, ritual and rhetoric.  I imagine that as Burke
thinks through how “universal situations give rise to recurrent emotions
then to fundamental attitudes and finally typical actions” he recognized
[that] this “pattern of experience” was thee creature he was tracking
down.  Precisely when this “pattern of patterns” came to him, and precisely
how (in a dream?) I don’t know, but at this early stage, steeped in
“mountains of words” and mulling over  the anthropologist’s “universal
pattern” he must have felt he was getting close.  Standing just behind the
scenes contemplating the poet/metaphysicians conditions of appeal and the
nine “potentials” of the anthropologist’s universal pattern (speech,
material traits like tools, art, mythology, religion, social systems,
property, government and war) it was the process of individuation that must
have been particularly fascinating to him.  In making a poem the poet
ritualizes his revelation (CS 168-169).  Since Burke wrote that the poet
communicates his idea to others I would amend the above formula: the poem
is the ritualized (he also says “stylized”) revelation of the poet’s vision
or epiphany. An interesting question at this point is whether the
inspiration of the poet’s symbol is passively suffered (Burke uses the
example of a poet suffering from a feeling of inferiority or depression).
He distinguishes the poet from the dreamer as one who not only
spontaneously generates images but one in whom the “desire to communicate
becomes conscious motive, dreaming passes into creating.” (Rueckert 6)  The
conversion of the suffered into “equipment for living” moves through
diagnosis toward illumination which as Burke says is the chief function of
art as revelation. Certainly a ritual of initiation is only a beginning of
the human apprenticeship, theory leads to practice, revelation to
knowledge, early reproductions to master works.


On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 7:23 PM, <wessr at oregonstate.edu> wrote:

> 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.
> Bob
> 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
> _______________________________________________
> KB mailing list
> KB at kbjournal.org
> http://kbjournal.org/mailman/listinfo/kb_kbjournal.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://kbjournal.org/pipermail/kb_kbjournal.org/attachments/20170126/fe8046d1/attachment.html>

More information about the KB mailing list