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

Please note: This edition is out of print. I am, however, leaving this information as it stands because the book forms the basis of Kenneth Burke: From Myth to Ecology. Please see a separate entry for the later volume.

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 takes 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.

 

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Unfortunately, this volume was published with a large number of errata, so I strongly recommend interested readers to seek out  Kenneth Burke: From Myth to Ecology, which has far fewer errata.