Running Time: 15 minutes
Critic, philosopher, scholar, poet, and writer—Kenneth Burke is a maverick thinker who was never been constrained by categories. From the 1920s to the 1980s, Burke produced a body of work that is challenging, controversial, and insightful. A Critic in the broadest sense of the word, his theories begin with the recognition that “all living things are critics.”
Disdaining all traditional “schools” of literary thought, he has defiantly followed his own path. Believing that no approach is off-limits when analyzing a text or concept, Burke’s theories overlap into many different fields, including linguistics, psychology, philosophy, biology, and sociology. Although the highly technical nature of Burke’s writing has rendered him inaccessible to the general public, his ideas have had a profound impact on advanced thinkers in many of these disciplines.
In the mid-1970s, Burke’s grandson, noted singer and filmmaker Harry Chapin, interviewed Burke as part of a never-completed documentary. This film has been edited from those interviews. By necessity, it can only offer a small glimpse into the world of Kenneth Burke. It is our hope that viewers will be inspired to take a closer look at the life and work of this unique man.
THE CHAPIN FOUNDATION presents an OLDE CROW production a HARRY CHAPIN film ‘KB: A CONVERSATION WITH KENNETH BURKE’ KENNETH BURKE and HARRY CHAPIN interviews by HARRY CHAPIN photographed by HARRY CHAPIN and JIM LIPSCOMB edited by DYLAN SKOLNICK sound by HARRY CHAPIN and SANDY CHAPIN poems music and lyrics by KENNETH BURKE music performed by TOM CHAPIN negative cutting by NOELLE PENRAAT sound mix at SOUND ONE digital transfer by ERIN DOSS MARIA GRANIC WHITE ADAM POPE PING QIU ETHAN SPROAT and KATHERINE TANSKI executive producer SANDY CHAPIN produced by ROBERT AUDIN and DYLAN SKOLNICK directed by HARRY CHAPIN and DYLAN SKOLNICK