The dust jacket claims that Radical Sacrifice “distils the essence of Eagleton’s later thought,” but at the outset it seems like that later thought is stuck in an era now long past.
I am not here specifically to defend Heti’s section breaks, jumping points, or digressions, though I may in parts do just that. What I am here to do is consider how the criticism of this book plays right into a larger story Heti is telling.
It’s easy to forget that stories are rarely the work of any individual, but part of a collective process of telling and retelling — borrowing, alluding or stealing. There’s reason to be hopeful.
[Shaun Scott] uses the book as an occasion to decenter and problematize the mainstream cultural idea of the American Millennial as any middle- or upper-class white twenty-something with a liberal arts degree trying to make it as, say, a voice of a generation.
Language, poetry, and the act of translation are, then, inherently communal acts because they all involve ways of knowing one’s self, sharing that self, and as a result, eliminating a sense of otherness among communities.
The inability to believe in the future, a failure that we humans have made possible — we have exceeded ourselves, haha! — has created, not unhappiness, but ____________________.