I love him, I love him not
Eagleton writes with sensitive and comic humanity. Here is an example that fills me with socialist, progressive enthusiasm:
Politics belonged to the boardroom, and morality to the bedroom. This lead to a lot of immoral boardrooms and politically oppressive bedrooms.
Here is an example that began to redefine how I see death.
The moment of death is the moment when meaning haemorages from us.
And then there are paragrpahs like this:
To convert the whole world into culture is one way of dissavowing its imdependence from us, and thus disowning the possibility of our death. If the world depends for its reality on our discourse about it, then this seems to lend the human animal, however 'decentered', an imposing centrality. [...] We are the precious custodians of morality, since we are all that stands between reality and utter chaos.
This isn't Eagleton's view, he's just describing culturalism. Maybe it's misrepresented but once again, it's not tied to any reference so how are we ever to know?
Where do we begin with gibberish like this?
The very notion that the world is chaos without us to talk about it is so absurd than anyone who discusses this without saying so outright undermines their own credibility.
Even if language and culture were a special and elevating endowment (they're not), it still wouldn't be the thin grey line between us and chaos. There's another interpretative level: our basic senses. Does red exist in any real sense? Of course not, it's just a frequency in the visual spectrum, which is itself a tiny segment of a vast range of frequenies. We might know if a fly can process the frequency-red, but we don't know if they see the colour-red. Perhaps our senses are all that stand between our reality and utter chaos? And doesn't this give us solidarity with all sun-light processing entities, as long as we have some overlapping frequency range?
But still, when I die and my corpse is left meangingless as all rationale and language and understanding of signs haemmorage from my cooling flesh, will I face chaos? I will face nothing because at the moment of death, what hamemmorages is not meaning, it's consciousness, with meaning being one component alongside sight, hearing, smell, hunger, sexual appetite, the need for defecation, and the experience of raw joy at a world in which I the animal fits so well. Eagleton's phrase just sounds nice, and that's a big problem with his writing, as well as an enormous delight.