Distinguishing the perilous adventure of selfhood

Terry Eagleton writing in the latest edition of The London Review of Books:

Kierkegaard is careful to distinguish the perilous adventure of selfhood from whimsical self-fashioning, in which the self, intoxicated by endless possibility, reinvents itself experimentally from moment to moment, shucking off responsibility for the past and surrendering to the aesthetic allure of the moment. It is a striking prevision of postmodernism. When Kierkegaard speaks of dread or anxiety, he has in mind this prospect of pure, empty possibility, which lurks at the heart of one’s experience like some bottomless abyss.

This is precisely the sort of paragraph I aspire never to write.


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