Kenneth Burke

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Kenneth Burke Kenneth Duva Burke (May 5, 1897 – November 19, 1993) was an American literary theorist and philosopher. Burke's primary interests were in rhetoric and aesthetics. Burke became a highly distinguished writer after getting out of college, and starting off serving as an editor and critic instead, while he developed his relationships with other successful writers. He would later return to the university to lecture and teach. He was born on May 5 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Peabody High School, where his friend Malcolm Cowley was also a student. Burke attended Ohio State University for only a semester, then studied at Columbia University in 1916-1917 before dropping out to be a writer. In Greenwich Village he kept company with avant-garde writers such as Hart Crane, Malcolm Cowley, Gorham Munson, and later Allen Tate. Raised Roman Catholic, Burke later became an avowed agnostic. In 1919, he married Lily Mary Batterham, with whom he had three daughters: the late feminist, Marxist anthropologist Eleanor Leacock (1922–1987); musician (Jeanne) Elspeth Chapin Hart (b. 1920); and writer and poet France Burke (b. ~1925). He would later marry her sister Elizabeth Batterham in 1933 and have two sons, Michael and Anthony. Burke served as the editor of the modernist literary magazine The Dial in 1923, and as its music critic from 1927-1929. Kenneth himself was an avid player of the saxophone and flute. He received the Dial Award in 1928 for distinguished service to American literature. He was the music critic of The Nation from 1934–1936, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1935. His work on criticism was a driving force for placing him back into the university spotlight. As a result, he was able to teach and lecture at various colleges, including Bennington College, while continuing his literary work. Many of Kenneth Burke's personal papers and correspondence are housed at Pennsylvania State University's

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