I paused for thought when I read this sentence in Morgan Meis review of Péter Nádas's Parallel Stories:
That is the inherent tension of the beastly self in its relation to our rational and socially acceptable desires.
The idea that the "socially acceptable" is also the "rational" is a tired cliché that does not stand up to scrutiny. It is also a denigration of rationality. The world of social acceptability is thoroughly emotional, however insipid it may sometimes be. I stress sometimes. There are perfectly good norms out there. That does not make them rational, however.
That said, I agree that there is something "beastly" beneath both our reasons and our passions, beneath both our material world and our social history.