[KB] Burke on invective and catharsis

Edappel8@cs.com Edappel8 at cs.com
Tue Feb 6 17:07:52 EST 2007


See pp. 39-40 in PLF on this matter.  There Burke says, under "Aspects of the 
Scapegoat in Reidentification":

       "Since the symbolic transformation involves a sloughing off, you may 
expect to find some variant of killing in the work.  (I treat indictment, 
vituperation, vindictiveness against a 'villain,' etc., as attenuated aspects of 
this same function.)  So we get to the 'scapegoat,' the 'representative' or 
'vessel' of certain unwanted evils, the sacrificial animal upon whose back the 
burden of these evils is ritualistically loaded."

See p. 94 in LASA, where Burke speaks of "the curative function of invective 
as such . . ."  And I think there's another section of this essay where Burke 
refers to some previous culture/polity where citizens were allowed to go into 
the wilderness and curse the kind for catharic benefit, with no legal 
repercussions.  Don't see it yet.


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