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The Philosophy of Literary Form Paperback – August 27, 1974

ISBN-13: 978-0520024830 ISBN-10: 0520024834 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 463 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 3rd edition (August 27, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520024834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520024830
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on March 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kenneth Burke is trying here to define the symbolic, though he makes it too empirical by speaking of symbolic action. This leads him to three levels of definition : the bodily or biological level ; the personal, intimate, familiar, familistic level ; the abstract level. We can see here that he does not encompass two essential levels : the historical, anthropological and social level for one in which the individual is animated by wider currents and forces, wider symbolisms and symbolic dimensions ; and on the other hand the purely spiritual level, very badly incorporated in the abstract level of his. He definitely misses a general purpose in human life : to reach a spiritual level of existence, in a way or another, and poetry and even all arts are one or many ways to do so, along with science, religion, meditation, etc.

This is also due to the fact that this book (this collection of articles) is entirely inhabited by a binary thinking method : every phenomenon is reduced to dual oppositions. He then misses the « social aspect of authority » (p. 53). He becomes more interesting with his methodology. « The focus of critical analysis must be upon the structure of the given work itself. » I could not agree more but he then misses his own point. He reduces himself to a schematic hegelian caricature of a dialectic with the couple protagonist-antagonist. He tries to make it ternary by adding the agon, but the agon is nothing but the environment of the two others and hence is not of teh same nature. We remain binary, and that is going to be a plague further on.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin Perrotta on December 11, 2013
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book was falling apart in my hands. should never have been offered for sale and should never have been sent.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Albert Christensen on April 27, 2013
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Dr Burke is very inclusive in bringing many thoughts of other academics to bear on a problem and to expand his own discussion in many directions.
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0 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Noreen Winningham on November 23, 2010
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I love Amazon because whatever I am looking for, I can find it online at Amazon. Burke was a inspiration for Ralph Ellison -- who knew!? -- I am hoping to find the same inspiration in his work.

As always the book arrived promptly and in the condition expected. Amazon is my most reliable, and appreciated, source!!!
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