A few days ago I complained about positive book reviews for a new book that partially involves explicit depictions of sexual intercourse between a chimpanzee and a woman, with the reviewers either lauding the bestiality or praising it with non damnation. I saw the acceptance of bestiality/literary porn as a disturbing symptom. Here is part of what I wrote in that post:
This is a real storm warming. Positive and pornographic depictions of bestiality are nothing to smile about or shrug off. Standing against the normalization or acceptance of bestiality is far more important than having our “sensibilities” offended. As I have written elsewhere, it is a crucial matter of defending and upholding human dignity.
And now—just as I expected—the grand dame of book review publications, the New York Times Book Review, seals the degeneration. Not only does the reviewer Christopher R. Beha—yes,of course! an editor at Harper’s—find the bestiality perfectly fine, but he looks down his intellectual elite nose at those who wouldn’t agree. From “Primal Urges:”
Hale’s daring is most obvious in his portrayal of the relationship between Bruno and Lydia, which eventually breaks the one sexual taboo even Nabokov wouldn’t touch.
Such material will prove an insurmountable barrier to certain readers, the same ones who will never pick up “Lolita.” And the depictions of interspecies love are certainly discomfiting, but not for the reasons you might imagine. Ultimately, the point of these scenes is not to shock us but to ask what fundamentally makes us human, what differences inhere between a creature like Lydia and a creature like Bruno that disqualify the latter from the full range of human affection. In a twist that sounds heavy-handed when summarized but is expertly managed, Lydia suffers an illness that leaves her helpless and aphasic, reduced to her animal self, making the differences between the two seem even more superficial, and their need for each other even more moving..
Please. We rubes understand the subversive game that is afoot among the liberal intellegentsia when they laud works that undermine traditional morality, and more specifically—as in Beha’s statement quoted above—applaud destroying the principle that being human is something unique, important, and special.
Disdaining even fictional accounts of human/animal sexual intercourse is important to both upholding standards of moral decency and a proper respect for human exceptionalism. Color me disgusted, but alas, not surprised.