Kenneth Burke's interest in myth was constant throughout his extremely long career. However, much of his discussion of myth occurs in the course of writing about something else-for instance, language, culture, or the definition of humanity. In order to understand his main principles as a myth theorist, we will spend the first two chapters concentrating on his four most important statements on the nature of mythology. These statements were made at various stages of his career. For the sake of convenience, I will refer to them throughout as "essays," though in fact the first of them originated in a speech given at a political conference, and the second and fourth were journal articles. It is perhaps indicative of Burke's way of thinking that he did not let the constraints of any format get in the way of his fascination with the idea of an integral vision. Everything he wrote was preparatory for a final word that never came. This may seem a cause of regret; but, as we shall see, Burke was consistent in his very suspicion of the value of finality. If we seek a definitive summation of his ideas in extended form, we will look in vain: it was the nature of Burke's enterprise, like that of his hero, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to be in a permanent state of what we might call "notes toward."