Discuss "WE WRITE FOR THE WORKERS": Authorship and Communism in Kenneth Burke and Richard Wright" by John Logie

"We Write for the Workers"

I want to take up now John Logie's article, "'We Write for the Workers': Authorship and Communism in Kenneth Burke and Robert Wright." This essay, like the other two in this spring 2005 issue of the KBJournal, is a worthy treatment of an important theme in Burke studies, deserving of attention and comment. I'll get to some of its salient features as a critique in later posts. I want, first of all, to play devil's advocate for those who censured Burke for his Marxoid "sins" at the 1935 American Writers Congress in New York City. Burke's (in)famous speech at that conference plays an important role in Logie's treatise, as well as in the lore and mythology of Burke's life and ideological development.

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Christ as symbol of sympathy/ambition

Both this work and Lentricchia's comments concerning Burke's presentation touch upon symbolism that appeals to ambition ("The People") rather than sympathy ("The Worker"). I am curious how symbols like Christ and his metonymic cross appear on this spectrum. There seems to be some ostensibly pitiable element about the suffering of Christ which enables the spiritual life of the believing community. This element may be paralleled to that of "The Worker," who suffers because of a particular social system and is idolized by the believing community of Communists.

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