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Venus in Furs by sacher masoch
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Venus in Furs (original 1870; edition 1932)

by sacher masoch

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1,058147,934 (3.54)32
Member:jotoyo
Title:Venus in Furs
Authors:sacher masoch
Info:william faro. inc (1932), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Mainstream, VR

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Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1870)

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
"Frightened." "Roseate." "The sacred apes of Benares." Drivel. A cultural curiosity, bizarrely and inexcusably reductive and philosophically cheap. Also, craptastic. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
Will write a formal review at a later time, still digesting!
BRUTALITY! ( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
Classic. Underrated even in Decadent circles: I just consulted my old Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony, an inventory of Romantic and late-Romantic works on the theme of cruelty and the femme fatale -- Sacher-Masoch occurs twice in the index. What? There's how I let this one go by, when I was half the age I am and into late 19thC decadent fiction. From memory I read descriptions that put me off. I'm sad about that. On the other hand, I now discover an instant personal classic.

I think it's a wonderful book. Funny often, scary when things get out of hand. Well-told, so that several reviews say they couldn't put it down (neither could I). Well-written, with the lyrical effusions and philosophic ramblings of its era and subject present but under control. And its two mains, Severin and Wanda, are not stand-ins but fleshed-out creations, human, endearingly uncertain of whether or not they are serious about this enslavement idea in the first half ('Are you being serious?' 'Well, are you?'); subject to misgivings; with moments of cowardice on Severin's part, and when Wanda gets over-serious, you can read between Severin's lines and see her feelings have been mortified. The author does not conflate himself with Severin, even though he uses his life experiences -- he too took this train journey in a third-class carriage as his mistress' servant, under the same typical servant name. While we're here, I noticed that the ennobled Severin, at first horrified to be among the plebs and foreigners, finds them undisgusting human beings. Sacher-Masoch was a socialist, I saw afterwards.

Yes, Severin is 'cured' in the end of his yearnings to be whipped by a woman who espouses a bold Greek paganism and liberty from Christian constraints (let us acknowledge Wanda). But Don Quixote was cured in the end, and who believes that? One has to wrap these tales up piously, to keep the convention police off your back. Then the reader is left to judge the interlocutors' final statements, and exercise discretion as to what they themselves call the 'moral of the story'. ( )
  Jakujin | Apr 27, 2016 |
From a certain literary perspective, "Venus in Furs" is a failure of a novel. Two rich, excessively cultured Europeans go on and on in a stiff, maddeningly formal tone, discecting their relationship and their complexes while neglecting to take their clothes off. It doesn't sound like a good time, does it?. But "Venus in Furs" is an accomplishment of sorts: while it can't be said to be a complete description of human sexuality, it provides a pretty good analysis of one very particular corner of it. Maybe you need to live there already to get it, but it's all there: the curious, paradoxical mixture of self-abnegation and egoism that drives most masochists, the combination of fear and intense desire that drives men who prefer a certain kind of strong-willed woman, and a general preference for extremes and drama. Modern readers may quibble with the author's take on the female character (inconstant, flighty) or race relations (decidedly exoticist), but it's hard to argue that he didn't know the terrain of his own desire. And desire's what this one's all about, really. The novel's by turns sumptous and shockingly physical, but its focus never strays much from the topic of beauty, even if it's a sort of beauty that's, ahem, somewhat unconventional. It's clear that the author, precious has he might be, doesn't just get a sexual thrill from seeing Wanda, the domme herself, bedecked in fur, but also real aesthetic pleasure: his references to European master painters aren't there by accident. Wanda herself is also a more comoplex character than one might expect. She's often very conscious of her own pleasure, the book asks whether Severin created her -- like a sexual version of Frankenstein's monster -- or if the games that they play merely brought out some dormant facet of her personality. Anyway, she never hesitates to call Severin's bluff, challenging him in ways that he finds both unconfortable and less than sexy. There's no "topping from below" from Wanda. The translation of my version seemd a good one, too: its lush and suitably ornate while maintaining a trace of what I'd like to imagine is a little Teutonic rigor. In a few scenes, the novel hits a perfect balance between sexy and cold-bloodedly terrifying. "Memorable" doesn't even begin to describe them. Finally, I got the sense that "Venus in Furs" is a better novel than it strictly has to be. The author probably deserves our praise for taking a subject that's ripe for cheap exploitation and writing a quality novel about it instead. It's recommended to a certain audience, and you know who you are. Perverts, suprasensualits, and raincoat-wearing sex creeps: this one's for you. ( )
2 vote TheAmpersand | Oct 15, 2015 |
Due to the study « Psychopathia sexualis » of the German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing, « Venus im Pelz » came into an unwarranted imbalance. More than a hundred years after this novel was written, there is a broad knowledge regarding the different types of sexual experiences. Deviations of the so called « Normal » are of low social acceptance. But persons, who like to play sexual games, will have no scruples trying out the harmless proposals given by Ritter Leopold.
1 vote hbergander | Dec 10, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leopold von Sacher-Masochprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mackensen, GerdIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, FernandaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
God did punish him. and deliver him into the hands of a woman.

- Judith 16:7
Dedication
First words
My company was charming.
Quotations
"If the foundation of marriage depends on equality and agreement, it is likewise true that the greatest passions rise out of opposites. We are such opposites, almost enemies. That is why my love is part hate, part fear. In such a relation only one can be hammer and the other anvil. I wish to be the anvil. I cannot be happy when I look down upon the woman I love. I want to adore a woman, and this I can only do when she is cruel towards me."
"I really believe," said Wanda thoughtfully, "that your madness is nothing but a demonic, unsatisfied sensuality. Our unnatural way of life must generate such illnesses. Were you less virtuous, you would be completely sane."
Never feel secure with the woman you love, for there are more dangers in woman's nature than you imagine. Women are neither as good as their admirers and defenders maintain, nor as bad as their enemies make them out to be. Woman's character is characterlessness. The best woman will momentarily go down into the mire, and the worst unexpectedly rises to deeds of greatness and goodness and puts to shame those that despise her. No woman is so good or so bad, but that an any moment she is capable of the most diabolical as well as of the most divine, of the filthiest as well as of the purest, thoughts, emotions, and actions.
"I believe," she said, "that to hold a man permanently, it is vitally important not to be faithful to him. What honest woman has ever been as devotedly loved as a hetaira?"
A slap in the face is more effective than ten lectures. It makes you understand very quickly, especially when the instruction is by the way of a small woman's hand.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work contains only "Venus in furs"--please don't combine it with editions containing other stories, or graphic novel adaptations.
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Book description
Venus in Furs describes the obsessions of Severin von Kusiemski, a European nobleman who desires to be enslaved to a woman. Severin finds his ideal of voluptuous cruelty in the merciless Wanda von Dunajew. This is a passionate and powerful portrayal of one man's struggle to enlighten and instruct himself and others in the realm of desire. Published in 1870, the novel gained notoriety and a degree of immortality for its author when the word "masochism"—derived from his name—entered the vocabulary of psychiatry. This remains a classic literary statement on sexual submission and control.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140447814, Paperback)

Venus in Furs describes the obsessions of Severin von Kusiemski, a European nobleman who desires to be enslaved to a woman. Severin finds his ideal of voluptuous cruelty in the merciless Wanda von Dunajew. This is a passionate and powerful portrayal of one man's struggle to enlighten and instruct himself and others in the realm of desire. Published in 1870, the novel gained notoriety and a degree of immortality for its author when the word "masochism"—derived from his name—entered the vocabulary of psychiatry. This remains a classic literary statement on sexual submission and control.


@SacherMasochist As the domination increases the limit of sensuality approaches infinity. Math joke. Eat that, Leibniz.

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:21 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Venus in Furs opens with Severin, a young and wealthy Galician, who has a dark sexual fantasy: he wants a lover who will whip him into submission. When he meets a woman willing to fulfil that desire, reality starts to blur into fantasy, and Severin wonders if he can come out alive... The sensual and riveting Venus in Furs was a visionary novella of its time, and continues to fascinate readers today. It has joined the ranks of Momentum's Classic Erotica series.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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