Kenneth Burke s Permanence and Change
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189 pages

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A guide to and analysis of a seminal books key concepts and methodology

Since its publication in 1935, Kenneth Burke's Permanence and Change, a text that can serve as an introduction to all his theories, has become a landmark of rhetorical theory. Using new archival sources and contextualizing Burke in the past and present, Ann George offers the first sustained exploration of this work and seeks to clarify the challenging book for both amateurs and scholars of rhetoric.

This companion to Permanence and Change explains Burke's theories through analysis of key concepts and methodology, demonstrating how, for Burke, all language and therefore all culture is persuasive by nature. Positioning Burke's book as a pioneering volume of New Rhetoric, George presents it as an argument against systemic violence, positivism, and moral relativism. Permanence and Change has become the focus of much current rhetorical study, but George introduces Burke's previously unavailable outlines and notes, as well as four drafts of the volume, to investigate his work more deeply than ever before. Through further illumination of the book's development, publication, and reception, George reveals Burke as a public intellectual and critical educator, rather than the eccentric, aloof genius earlier scholars imagined him to be.

George argues that Burke was not ahead of his time, but rather deeply engaged with societal issues of the era. She redefines Burke's mission as one of civic engagement, to convey the ethics and rhetorical practices necessary to build communities interested in democracy and human welfare—lessons that George argues are as needed today as they were in the 1930s.



Publié par
Date de parution 27 novembre 2018
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781611179323
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,2650€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Kenneth Burke s
Permanence and Change
Studies in Rhetoric/Communication Thomas W. Benson, Series Editor
Kenneth Burke s
Permanence and Change
Ann George

2018 University of South Carolina
Published by the University of South Carolina Press Columbia, South Carolina 29208
27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data can be found at .
ISBN 978-1-61117-931-6 (cloth)
ISBN 978-1-61117-932-3 (ebook)
For David, my truest companion
What Burke offers-and it is the reason why so many of us turn to him for help-is a methodology, a way of thinking, and of testing our thinking, about how we act as human beings. We leave Burke s wonderful books in sadness, but in this sadness is hope. If, in the suffering and horror of our time, we can develop a method for the analysis of what symbols do to us in our relations with each other, we may yet learn to lead a better life. Such is Burke s message to our time.
Hugh Dalziel Duncan, Introduction,
Permanence and Change , 1965
List of Illustrations
Series Editor s Preface
Introduction A Reshaping of the Terms
Part I . Translating Burkean Terms
One. Pieties, Perspectives, and Incongruities
Two. Metabiology as Purification of War
Three. Enacting the Poetic Orientation
Part II . Archival Interventions
Four. Caught in the Act A Writer in the Archives
Five. Archival Recalcitrance The Ins and Outs of Communism
Six. Finding the Time for Burke
Conclusion A New Rhetoric and Civic Pedagogy (to Save the World )
Appendix A Toward a P C Chronology
Appendix B Works Referenced in P C
Works Cited
Toward Los Angeles, California . Dorothea Lange. March 1937
First edition title page
Burke s Latin and Greek transcriptions of Matthew 16:18
Perspective by Incongruity notes #6 and #11
Perspective by Incongruity numbered outline
Draft page from Perspective by Incongruity
Hermes Scroll #7. Hermes Publications, 1953
March 1935 New Republic ad for Permanence and Change
Ann George s Kenneth Burke s Permanence Change: A Critical Companion provides beginners and senior scholars with a guide and a fresh historical, theoretical, and archival reading of what George claims is the foundational book for a framework that later came to be called the New Rhetoric. Burke s Permanence Change (1935) created a new vocabulary for rhetorical studies, placing civic participation, George argues, squarely at the center of rhetoric and an expanded notion of rhetoric at the center of both personal and public life-and aimed at developing a way of imagining, perhaps even calling into being, a healthier, fairer, more humane society. To accomplish this, George maintains, Burke needed not only a new theory but also a new set of terms for talking about how human beings describe, interpret, experience, and attempt to change the world through symbols. Her critical companion provides her readers with the tools to understand Burke s key terms -orientation, piety, perspective by incongruity, metabiology, purification of war .
Among leftist thinkers and activists in the 1930s, in the midst of the cataclysm of the Great Depression and with the rise of fascism threatening another world war, Burke s claim for the foundational power of symbols was unorthodox and suspect. Among rhetorical theorists who were rediscovering Aristotelian rhetoric as the foundational theory for rhetorical study in universities English and speech departments, Burke s theory was slow to take hold-but take hold it did.
Professor George guides her reader through Burke s theory, giving careful attention to Burke s context and to the scholarly literature on Burke, though her aim is not to press Burke back into his time so much as to use the context to understand the theory and suggest its nuances. A special feature of George s book is her story of the archives she explored in her search for Permanence Change , archives based at Penn State s library and in other special collections. Her detailing this archival venture shows something of her own search for the emerging meaning of Permanence Change , as well as of Burke s earlier search for those meanings and the invention of a language to describe his developing theory. In the archives George discovers Burke as a theorist and as a writer-composing drafts on cheap paper in nearly indecipherable handwriting worked over with revisions and crossed-out text, eventually drawn together into a manuscript shared, edited, produced-all that is suggested by written.
Ann George s Kenneth Burke s Permanence Change: A Critical Companion is a fascinating reading experience and will be an essential companion to Burke s work for a long time to come.
Thomas W. Benson
I first read Permanence and Change in 1992 as a nondegree student at Penn State, taking Theory and Teaching of Composition. Like many graduate seminars, this one included an oral presentation on an important book that was not a required course text. We chose titles during the first class meeting from a list on the syllabus. P C was my book. I was utterly lost reading it and so green I did not know how to look up secondary scholarship for help. (In my own defense, there was not much available in 1992.) The only point that stood out clearly was that someone named Jeremy Bentham wanted to remove ambiguity from language, and Burke did not think that was possible. Precious little to go on. I got a B+ on the report and this comment: Good job; a little too many trees and a little too little forest on a difficult topic. It was a difficult assignment, wasn t it? Yes, Jack, it was. (Smile.)
The memory of how hard Burke was for me the first (and second and third) time through has stayed with me. It makes me a humble reader of Burke and a patient teacher and coach, eager to welcome newcomers to Burke studies generally and to P C particularly. It was one of my motives for writing A Critical Companion: I wrote in memory of the bewildered reader I once was. I hope inexperienced Burke students will read my volume alongside P C .
This first-of-its kind Burke companion is designed to make this increasingly significant but difficult text accessible for first-time readers and a richer, more nuanced resource for established Burke scholars. As it opens up the text for readers, A Critical Companion makes an original contribution to Burke scholarship by framing P C as the first full-blown example of New Rhetoric; as an important modern rearticulation of epideictic theory; and as a critical, civic pedagogy.
A Critical Companion helps readers new to P C navigate the text by identifying, explaining, and concretely illustrating concepts central to Burke s argument; chapters 1 - 3 also function as a literature review, incorporating significant scholarly discussions of key terms. Such in-depth analyses provide a much-needed handle for beginners overwhelmed by the rush of names, terms, and out-of-field references. At the same time, this detailed unpacking of terms offers Burke scholars an archival etymology and an uncommon reflection on the terms purposes and functions-not just what they mean but what they do. The new archival material I present here rewrote my understanding of a book I thought I knew well; A Critical Companion tells the story of my rediscovery of P C .
This book, of course, has a larger agenda: to multiply and complicate our representations of Burke to include (at least) writer, marketer, methodologist, civic activist, critical teacher-and human being. These different ways of seeing Burke, in turn, suggest different ways of reading P C -as theory written not for theory s sake but as a political, cultural, and pedagogical intervention-theory with which to build a civic art of living.
I am indebted to my Burke teachers, inside and outside the classroom, especially (and always) Jack Selzer, who set me on this path, Greg Clark, Bob Wess, Bryan Crable, and a host of talented Penn State colleagues, including Dana Anderson, Jess Enoch, Debra Hawhee, Jordynn Jack, Dave Tell, Scott Wible, and Janet Zepernick. Without the expert, ever-patient advice and unstinting support of my writing group members-Betsy, Charlotte, and Theresa-this book would be greatly diminished. And I feel myself fortunate, indeed, to work among talented and generous colleagues at Texas Christian University and elsewhere, especially Rich Enos, Jason Helms, Charlotte Hogg, Melanie Kill, Carrie Leverenz, Brad Lucas, Joddy Murray, Sarah Robbins, and Liz Weiser. Reviewers for the University of South Carolina Press, Greg Clark and an anonymous reader, helped me greatly improve the structure and thoroughness of this book. I thank, too, TCU s exceptional graduate students, who continue to teach me so much. I have been supported by the excellent research and editorial assistance-much of it generously provided by the English department graduate program director, Mona Narain-of Tim Ballingall, Brian Bly, Jim Creel, Josh Daniel-Wariya, Sue-Jin Green, Angelica Hernandez, David Isaksen, Amy Milakovic, Angela Moore, Terry Peterman, Megan Poole, Chase Sanchez, and Robert Tousley. I am blessed, indeed, to have Katie George s painstaking editing and proofing skills at my disposal. I am especially grateful for the unflagging encouragement and insight of two students turned colleagues-Sharon Harris and Michelle Iten-who responded to drafts and helped me work through repeated organizational gridlock. For their ge

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