A blog about life, language, writing, and other trivia.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Burke On Morphine

(Couldn't resist the sensationlistic title.)

I don't have any commentary, just a passage to share that reminded me again why Burke's examples--among so many of his other stylistic penchants--makes him just so damn much fun to read:

Similarly with the 'drug fiend,' who can take his morphine in a hospital without the slightest disaster to his character, since it is called medicine there; but if he injects it at a party, where it has the stigma of dissipation upon it, he may gradually organize his character about this outstanding 'altar' of his experience--and since the altar in this case is generally accepted as unclean, he will be disciplined enough to approach it with unclean hands, until he is a derelict.

[Edited to add: From Permanence and Change, 3rd California ed., pp. 77-78]



At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing like a good morphine analogy, eh?

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Lance said...

Maybe a morphine drip.


Post a Comment

<< Home