The problem of literary form according to Kenneth Burke

Krzysztof Gajewski

Abstract


The article presents Kenneth Burke's concept of literary form. According to Burke, literary form arouses and fulfills reader's desires. Burke presents several types or aspects of form, such as syllogistic progression, qualitative progression, repetitive form, conventional form and minor form. On the one hand, this repertoire of apparently heterogenic literary forms is compatible with traditional literary terms, but on the other hand, the notion of literary form can be applied, in Kantian manner, to human experience and sensual perception in general. Therefore, the question about the specificity of literature and the relation of form and content emerges. One of the suggested answers is that the function of literature is to propose symbols, which are patterns of human experience and play a compensatory role.


Keywords


literary form; symbol; Kenneth Burke

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