Burke at the defense

cj jeney at griffon.mwsc.edu
Fri Mar 2 12:14:01 EST 2001

Mark, your committee seems nice. One of my Rhet-Comp PhD committee members 
hit me between the eyes with something about Burke coming down on the side 
of the spiritual vs. corporeal or vice versa (knowing and stating that it 
of course can't be that simple, but demanding a reply nonetheless), and I 
rose to the bait with something about consubstantiation and 
transubstantiation -- my mind has mercifully blacked out the details, but 
it seemed to make him marginally happy. I kept waiting for that part of the 
defense where the committee engage each other in lively Burkean debate, but 
it never happened, they kept (dammit) insisting I take part in the 
festivities (shucks)...

My unending whine is the heartbreaking desire for a concordance, or at 
least a comprehensive index of terms -- key and minor -- in all of Burke's 
works. My feeble brain is incapable of keeping all the madness cataloged in 
any orderly manner. If anyone ever removes my scribbled post-it note tabs 
from my Burke books... I think I'll die.

(or is there one I don't know about?)

(hearing a greek chorus sing "We don't need no steenkeeng index")
jeney at mwsc.edu

Mark wrote:
>At my defense, I was asked to define "motive" without reference to Burke--a
>couple of weeks later, I came up with something of an answer (I wish I had
>Clarke's definition of "motive" as "a configuaration of the elements of action
>in a given case" [pp. 4, 22; cited by Ed], though I am still turning this over
>in my mind--doesn't Clarke's definition highlight act at the expense of the
>other pentadic elements, whereas "sitiation" implies the whole pentadic
>configuration?). I mentioned my defense experience to Prof. Cal Logue at UGA,
>and he told me about the above exchange.  Is it true?

Cynthia Jeney
Assistant Professor
Dept. of English, Foreign
Languages, and Journalism
Missouri Western State College
jeney at griffon.mwsc.edu

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