[KB] Desilet, Moby Dick, and Melodrama

Edappel8@cs.com Edappel8 at cs.com
Mon May 19 12:27:45 EDT 2008

       Just a few comments in response to Greg's last contribution to this 

       Greg says, "I detect within Burke's dramatism a secular version of the 
'original sin' hypothesis about human nature."  I agree.  In my article on 
Burke as "coy theologian," I offered that dramatism/logology is a quasi-gnostic 
universalism friendly to process theology.  By quasi-gnostic, I had in mind a 
profound sense of humans as Fallen beings.  Only for Burke, that Fall is not 
into a sinful body, but rather into language, with its seemingly hypnotic, 
"magical," "mystical" power to entelechialize animal appetites, and generate 
distinctive ones to boot.

       In a conversation I had with him at the Duquesne Conference in 1996, 
Greg Henderson added this relevant gloss to my thesis: The gnostic "pleroma" 
serves as illustrative expression of Burkean transcendence via a perfected 
dialectical hierarchy in the heavenly realm.  As Hans Jonas says in his article on 
this religious orientation in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, gnosticism added 
some intriguing turns of thought not to to be found elesewhere.

       I think Greg, Greg Desilet, and I have turned over a fair amount of 
sod on the tragedy/melodrama question, and can now wait for others to dig in, if 
any care to do so.

       Thanks to Greg for visiting the parlor and putting in his 
finely-bladed oar.

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