"The Unending Conversation"

"… Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress."1

The challenge will be to impart the record to those new to the discourse, then together motivate those so long in discord to act in accord, in a Motion of Comity. The situation of and about Newburyport's central waterfront is so symbolic, this only can be accomplished with an equal measure of symbolism --- a trumping trope, so to speak … We hope to take a creative tack in navigating the narrative

1From the "Unending Conversation," (Passage from Kenneth Burke's "The Philosophy of Literary Form," pp. 110-11; Now digitized by Google Books, the full text can be found at this link without.)


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