New Criticals

Star Stuff, Kitsch, and Sagan’s Legacy


I have enormous respect for the vision and the humanity of Carl Sagan, but one persistent aspect of his legacy strikes me as a particularly kitschy and watered-down version of his generally more radical and pantheistic view of nature: namely, this insistence that we are made of “star stuff.” I don’t contest this “fact,” but I want to spend a moment evaluating its significance.