№ 9 2020


УДК / UDK: 82(091)
About the author:

James P. Zappen (PhD, Professor, Department of Communication and Media, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract: The spectacle was prominent in public displays and mass meetings in midtwentieth-century Russia and Germany as a quest for unity in political culture. In Russia, it was countered by Mikhail M. Bakhtin’s novelistic dialogue, polyphony, heteroglossia, and carnival. In Germany, it appeared in its most grotesque form in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which proclaims Hitler’s quest for German national unity and celebrates his National Socialist mass meetings, which created the appearance of a false unity imposed by force of arms. In the United States, Hitler’s spectacle was critiqued in Kenneth Burke’s review of Mein Kampf and continually challenged throughout his life’s work. Burke’s review critiques Hitler’s strategy of attempting to unite Germany by dividing it from those who opposed him, in particular non-German ethnic groups. Burke was engaged in sociopolitical issues throughout his lifetime, and his work offers theories and principles aimed at diversity in unity in political culture and offered as a counterforce to Hitler’s spectacle of a false unity—a counter-spectacle in the form of identification, dramatism, dialectical and aesthetic transcendence, and a satiric mock portrait of a false unity.
Keywords: Kenneth Burke, Mikhail M. Bakhtin, Guy Debord, Adolf Hitler, Spectacle, Counter-Spectacle, Political Culture, Identification, Dramatism, Dialectical Transcendence.

[Adams 2017] — Adams, Whitney Jordan. “A Response to Greig Henderson’s ‘Dialogism Versus Monologism: Burke, Bakhtin, and the Languages of Social Change’.” KB Journal: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society 13:1 (Fall 2017). Online at https://kbjournal. org/adams -review

[Bakhtin 1981] — Bakhtin, Mikhail M. “Discourse in the Novel.” The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 1. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1981: 259 –422.

[Bakhtin 1984a] — Bakhtin, Mikhail M. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics, ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson. Theory and History of Literature, Vol. 8. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

[Bakhtin 1984b] — Bakhtin, Mikhail M. Rabelais and His World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky (1965). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, Midland Book, 1984.

[Blow 2019] — Blow, Charles M. “Trump’s Black College Spectacle: He Was Honored on the Issue of Criminal Justice, Where His Record Is Shameful.” New York Times (27 Oct. 2019). Online at -benedict -college.html

[Bonnell 1997] — Bonnell, Victoria E. Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters under Lenin and Stalin. Centennial Book. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997.

[Brooks 2000] — Brooks, Jeffrey. Thank You, Comrade Stalin! Soviet Public Culture from Revolution to Cold War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000.

[Bunyard 2018] — Bunyard, Tom. Debord, Time and Spectacle: Hegelian Marxism and Situationist Theory. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2018.

[Burke 1984] — Burke, Kenneth. Attitudes Toward History (1937). 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984.

[Burke 1972] —Burke, Kenneth. Dramatism and Development. Heinz Werner Lectures.

Barre, MA: Clark University Press with Barre Publishers, 1972.

[Burke 1969a] — Burke, Kenneth. A Grammar of Motives (1945). Berkeley, CA: Uni- versity of California Press, 1969.

[Burke 1966] — Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Litera- ture, and Method. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1966.

[Burke 1955] — Burke, Kenneth. “Linguistic Approach to Problems of Education.”

Modern Philosophies and Education: The Fifty -Fourth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part I, ed. Nelson B. Henry. Chicago, IL: National Society for the Study of Education/University of Chicago Press, 1955: 259 –303.

[Burke 1973] — Burke, Kenneth. The Philosophy of Literary Form: Studies in Symbolic Action (1941). 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1973.

[Burke 1969b] — Burke, Kenneth. A Rhetoric of Motives (1950). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1969.

[Burke 1951] — Burke, Kenneth. “Rhetoric—Old and New.” Journal of General Education 5:3 (April 1951): 202 –9.

[Burke 2016] — Burke, Kenneth. “The Rhetorical Situation” (1973). Communication: Ethical and Moral Issues, ed. Lee Thayer. Routledge Library Editions: Communication Studies. Oxford: Routledge, 2016: 263 –75.

[Burke 1971] — Burke, Kenneth. “Towards Helhaven: Three Stages of a Vision.” Sewanee Review 79:1 (Winter 1971): 11 –25.

[Burke 1974] — Burke, Kenneth. “Why Satire, with a Plan for Writing One.” Michigan Quarterly Review 13:4 (Fall 1974): 307 –37.

[Clark 2014] — Clark, Gregory. “Transcendence after Dialogue.” Transcendence by Perspective: Meditations on and with Kenneth Burke, ed. Bryan Crable. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press, 2014: 170 –86.

[Clark Holquist 1984] — Clark, Katerina; Holquist, Michael. Mikhail Bakhtin. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1984.

[Crable 2014] — Crable, Bryan. “Introduction: Burkean Perspectives on Transcendence: A Prospective Retrospective.” Transcendence by Perspective: Meditations on and with Kenneth Burke, ed. Bryan Crable. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press, 2014: 3 –32.

[Crusius 1999] — Crusius, Timothy W. Kenneth Burke and the Conversation after Philosophy. Rhetorical Philosophy and Theory. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999.

[Debord 1998] — Debord, Guy. Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, transl. Malcom Imrie (1999). London: Verso, 1998.

[Debord 1995] — Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle, transl. Donald Nichol- son -Smith (1994). New York: Zone Books, 1995.

[George Selzer 2007] — George, Ann; Selzer, Jack. Kenneth Burke in the 1930s. Colum- bia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2007.

[Groys 2003] — Groys, Boris. “The Art of Totality.” The Landscape of Stalinism: The Art and Ideology of Soviet Space, ed. Evgeny Dobrenko and Eric Naiman. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2003: 96 –122.

[Haskins Zappen 2010] — Haskins, Ekaterina V.; Zappen, James P. “Totalitarian Visual ‘Monologue’: Reading Soviet Posters with Bakhtin.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 40:4 (2010): 325 –59.

[Henderson 2017] — Henderson, Greig E. “Dialogism Versus Monologism: Burke, Bakhtin, and the Languages of Social Change.” KB Journal: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society 13:1 (Fall 2017). Online at -on -burke -and -bakhtin

[Hill 2009] — Hill, Ian. “‘The Human Barnyard’ and Kenneth Burke’s Philosophy of Technology.” KB Journal: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society 5:2 (Spring 2009). Online at

[Hitler 1939] — Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf: Complete and Unabridged, Fully Anno- tated, ed. John Chamberlain, Sidney B. Fay, John Gunther, and Others. New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1939. Online at

[In the Hall 2018] — “In the Hall of Mirrors: The Trump -Putin Summit Was Spec- tacle, not Substance.” The Economist (19 July 2018). Online at europe/2018/07/19/the -trump -putin -summit -was -spectacle -not -substance

[Karni Haberman 2019] — Karni, Annie; Haberman, Maggie. “For Trump, the State of the Union Is a Spectacle, and He Is Ready for It.” New York Times (4 Feb. 2019). Online at -state -of -the -union.html

[Kellner 2017] — Kellner, Douglas. “Preface: Guy Debord, Donald Trump, and the Politics of the Spectacle.” The Spectacle 2.0: Reading Debord in the Context of Digital Capi- talism, ed. Marco Briziarelli and Emiliana Armano. London: University of Westminster Press, 2017: 1 –13.

[Lucke 2017] — Lucke, Charlotte. “Toward a Praxis of a Language of Social Change: A Response to Greig Henderson on Burke and Bakhtin.” KB Journal: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society 13:1 (Fall 2017). Online at -review

[Morson Emerson 1990] — Morson, Gary Saul; Emerson, Caryl. Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990.

[Pauley 2009] — Pauley, Garth. “Criticism in Context: Kenneth Burke’s ‘The Rhetoric of Hitler’s “Battle”’.” KB Journal: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society 6:1 (Fall 2009). Online at -context -kenneth -burkes -rhetoric -hitlers -battle

[Penner 2019] — Penner, Devin. Rethinking the Spectacle: Guy Debord, Radical Democracy, and the Digital Age. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2019.

[Reevell 2018] — Reevell, Patrick. “Vladimir Putin Fields Questions for Over  4 Hours, Ranging from the Serious to the Personal, in His Annual Spectacle of Press Confer- ence Stamina.” ABC News (20 Dec. 2018). Online at putins -annual -press -conference -focus -domestic -economy -official/story?id=59924333

[Selzer 1996] — Selzer, Jack. Kenneth Burke in Greenwich Village: Conversing with the Moderns 1915 –1931. Wisconsin Project on American Writers. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996.

[Weiser 2008] — Weiser, M. Elizabeth. Burke, War, Words: Rhetoricizing Dramatism. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2008.

[Wolin 2001] — Wolin, Ross. The Rhetorical Imagination of Kenneth Burke. Studies in Rhetoric/Communication. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2001.

[Zappen 2009] — Zappen, James P. “Kenneth Burke on Dialectical -Rhetorical Transcendence.” Philosophy and Rhetoric 42:3 (2009): 279 –301.

[Zaretsky    2017]    —     Zaretsky,     Robert.     “Trump     and     the     ‘Society   of the Spectacle’.” New York Times (20 Feb. 2017). Online at https://www>.  -and  -the  -society  -of  -the  -spectacle. html?emc=edit_th_20170220&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=19343842&_r=1