Berthoff – Burke’s Terministic Screens

If we can learn to think of language not as a tool, a single-purpose facilitator, but as an instrument that lets us see in many different ways... Ann Berthoff's The Making of Meaning (p. 42) As soon as I read this quote, I immediately thought about Burke's Terministic Screens.  Burke says that the language that... Continue Reading →


Berthoff – Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo makes grammatical sense

If we are to teach our students to read for meaning--to construe and interpret and appreciate literary texts--the meaning of meaning most useful to us is that it is a means: speaking and writing, listening and reading all engage us in the making of meaning by means of language Ann Berthoff My immediate reaction to this... Continue Reading →

The Poet, the Program and the Method

Coleridge's ideal poet The poet, described in ideal perfection, brings the whole soul of man into activity, with the subordination of its faculties to each other according to their relative worth and dignity. He diffuses a tone and spirit of unity, that blends, and (as it were) fuses, each into each, by that synthetic and... Continue Reading →

Burke – Acceptance vs. Acquiescence

"Acceptance of"--not necessarily "acquiescence to." By acceptance is meant an openness to the factors involved. One may accept a situation in thundering against it. Voltaire accepted. Acceptance is exposure.  Whether one builds a wall against the new by reaffirming the old, or seeks by a loosening to incorporate the new, he will be "accepting" in... Continue Reading →

Burke’s Program – Living vs. Dead Discourse

Jasper Neel's Aristotle's Voice, Coleridge's essays on the Method, Burke's Terministic Screens, and now Burke's Program all talk about living discourse vs.  dead discourse. [The artist's] innovations today must be, in some way, the humanistic or cultural counterpart of the external changes brought about by industrialism, or mechanization. Kenneth Burke I think it is the... Continue Reading →

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