Tantalizing Criticism

Some of you may remember my writing of a frustrating and outraging book I’d recently read that I said I would blog about. Well, I never quite got around to it – I wrote drafts and drafts, rethinking and rewriting, but I never quite expressed everything that I found wrong with the book. Yes, there were that many things wrong.

So I’ll just say it:

The Naked Ape, by Desmond Morris, was absolutely horrifying. It started off relatively well, pointing out that the most distinctive and definitive traits of humanity were from a naturalist’s perspective not at all the things we’d most likely think of (hence the title of the book). And it does a reasonably good job of reviewing the nature of human sexuality from an ‘alien’ point of view.

But it’s also full of pseudoFreudian psychobabble, grotesque misrepresentations of associative processes, just-so stories, inaccuracies, arguments asserted without proper logical or evidentiary support, and mindless repetition of the dogmas of the times in which it was written.

I may eventually point out a few of the specific problems I had with the book, because without providing the justifications this ‘review’ is really just a slander. But that will be a subject for another day.


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