KENNETH BURKE ON MYTH: AN INTRODUCTION (New York: Routledge, 2005)

The first study of Burke’s work on mythology, this book explains the relevance of his ideas on society as ‘ritual drama’, on ‘victimage’ and the sacrificial process, and above all on the link between mythology and ecology.

Kenneth Burke on Myth took very seriously Burke’s classic definition of the human being: ‘the symbol-using (symbol-misusing) animal’ who is ‘rotten with perfection’. That is, his/her ‘words’ always seem to gesture towards some absolute ‘Word’, regardless of whether religious belief is involved.

Marxism and all other ‘isms’ do exactly the same. The closing chapter of the book, ‘Myth and Ecology’, enabled me to offer some sort of synthesis of the argument in my first book, Myth, and the rationale of my second book, The Green Studies Reader.

 

NOTE: Kenneth Burke on Myth has since been revised as Kenneth Burke: From Myth to Ecology. Please see separate entry.