The Text That Dare Not Speak It’s Name

Surely you remember our post on how Barnes and Noble cancelled an event for Paws and Reflect: Exploring the Bond Between Gay Men and Their Dogs by Sharon Sakson over a risque “sexual reference”.

Well, we received a last night from Sakson herself bringing the matter to our attention (not a big reader, we gather). After informing her that we had already posted it, we asked more about what exactly had transpired. Sakson, an NBC news producer, journalist and dog show judge, told us that the manager of the Princeton Barnes & Noble had cut the reading because of a line involving Alexander the Great and Aristotle.

Needless to say, we were intrigued. What sort of sick, depraved passage could lead an internationally-renowned store to cancel an event: a cancellation they must have suspected would raise some eyebrows? A mensch through and through, Sakson provided us with the text:

When sixteen-year-old Alexander the Great would make love to his teacher Aristotle, he would do so roughly, forcing his way in with only a bit of saliva. He liked to hear rationality yelping like a dog.

It goes on to describe how Aristotle dreamt of being a Alexander’s dog…

Seriously? That’s it? That’s the passage that led the aforementioned manager to write an email entitled, “sodomy and the crossover market”? We’ve read worse things in Madeline Crabb’s columns! We expected a full-on dog orgy or something.

It seems the prudish manager, however, wasn’t having it. Sakson writes:

In subsequent conversations, she told us, “there aren’t many gays in Princeton” “no one will come because they won’t want to be identified as gay” and finally, “I cannot recommend this book to our customers.”

Of course, this begs the question: how many homos does a city have to have in order to officially declare, “We have many homos”?