Kenneth Burke: From Myth to Ecology

SKU: 978-1-60235-455-5

Laurence Coupe

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978-1-60235-455-5 (paperback; $30.00), 978-1-60235-456-2 (Adobe ebook; $20) © 2013 by Parlor Press. 217 pages with notes, bibliography, and index.

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David Measel's YouTube Review:

Galleymore, Isabel. Review. Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 18.1 (2014): 111-12.


Kenneth Burke: From Myth to Ecology is the first full-length study of a remarkable thinker’s approach to those founding narratives, those essential structures of thought, which cannot be credited to any one individual but rather belong to the whole community. As such, it explores the way Burke developed an increasingly “green” perspective on the stories we tell one another in order to make sense of our world. In celebrating Burke’s achievement, Laurence Coupe presents us with a complete picture of a mind that is comprehensive, compassionate, and “comic.” For Burke, myth is the chief means by which humanity can come to terms with itself and its own dangerous ambitions. Hence to be alert to the way myth functions is to become responsible toward the planet that is our home. In emphasizing this aspect of Burke’s work, Coupe argues that Burke’s theory of myth is urgently contemporary.

About the Author

Laurence Coupe is Senior Lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he has pioneered the study of the mythic and ecological aspects of both literature and culture. He is the author of Myth (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2009) and the editor of The Green Studies Reader: From Romanticism to Ecocriticism (Routledge, 2000). Other books include Marina Warner (Northcote House, 2006) and Beat Sound, Beat Vision: The Beat Spirit and Popular Song (Manchester University Press, 2007).


1. Myth and Society
2. Myth and Literary Criticism
3. Myth and “Ritual Drama”
4. Myth and “Victimage”
5. Myth and Ecology

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