Kenneth Burke

Kenneth
Burke
1897
1993

American Literary Theorist and Critic

Author Quotes

The progress of human enlightenment can go no further than in picturing people not as vicious, but as mistaken.

Ecology teaches us “that the total economy of the planet cannot be guided by an efficient rationale of exploitation alone,” wrote Burke more than 70 years ago, “but that the exploiting part must eventually suffer if it too greatly disturbs the balance of the whole.

It is deplorable, but not tragic, simply to be a victim of circumstance. Sheer victimization is not an assertion - and it naturally makes not for vision but for frustration. The victimizing circumstances, or accidents, seem arbitrary and exorbitant, even silly.

We not only interpret the character of events... we may also interpret our interpretations.

Men seek for vocabularies that are reflections of reality. To this end, they must develop vocabularies that are selections of reality. And any selection of reality must, in certain circumstances, function as a deflection of reality.

Dignity belongs to the conquered.

If decisions were a choice between alternatives, decisions would become easy. Decision is the selection of alternatives.

Author Picture
First Name
Kenneth
Last Name
Burke
Birth Date
1897
Death Date
1993
Bio

American Literary Theorist and Critic