Kenneth (Duva) Burke 1897–
American critic, philosopher, translator, poet, and short story writer.
Burke has been considered a very difficult critic to classify. Because of his advocacy of a close reading of the text and his strong interest in the theories of I. A. Richards, Burke has been associated with many of the New Critics. However, believing that the "main idea of criticism … is to use all that there is to use," Burke draws upon his knowledge of linguistics, psychology, theology, and sociology to produce a diverse body of literary criticism.
Burke's perceptive and complex reading of a text has brought him great acclaim from his fellow literary theorists. Yet his audience has been limited to this select group due to the eclectic and erudite nature of his approach.
(See also CLC, Vol. 2 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 5-8, rev. ed.)