A Grammar of Motives by Kenneth Burke

By Kenneth Burke

Approximately this e-book Mr. Burke contributes an introductory and summarizing comment, "What is concerned, once we say what individuals are doing and why they're doing it? a solution to that question is the topic of this ebook. The publication is anxious with the elemental sorts of wherein, in line with the character of the area as all males inevitably adventure it, are exemplified within the attributing of reasons. those varieties of even though may be embodied profoundly or trivially, honestly or falsely. they're both found in systematically elaborated or metaphysical buildings, in felony judgments, in poetry and fiction, in political and clinical works, in information and in bits of gossip provided at random."

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Sample text

And by selecting drama as our representative, or informative anecdote, we meet these requirements. For the vocabulary developed in conformity with this form can possess a systematically interrelated structure, while at the same time allowing for the discussion of human affairs and the placement of cultural expressions in such typically I1 human terms as personality and action (two terms that might bc merged in the one term, "role"). The informative anecdote, we could say, contains in nucc the tcrminological stnicture that is evolved in conformity with it.

U though t there are ultimate moments when the substantial, alli,-,clusiveact, as it were, is derived out of itself, as regards the pentadic resources generally we must consider rather the transformations we may deal with this motivational locus in terms o£ the other one might ask, what has become of our scene-act loci. In Iatiol And that question will be subject our next section.

There must, in brief, be some respect in which the act is a causa sui, a motive of itseif. '>i I SCOPE A N D REDUCTION 67 up ' I 1 I ' : 1 ! 1 l 1 to this point, we have simply followed the implications of the prototYPe. " Next we must look about, in the world o£ experience, to see whether our conclusions make sense, proverbs in particular might help us; for surely they are in the flatlands, safely distant from the magic mountain (though often we best understand them if we think of them not just as isolated observations,but as fragments of a vast and compiex dialectic structure which the proverbialist discerns not sustainedly and systematically, but in glimpses and inklings).

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