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Venus in Furs (1870)

Related: 1870 - masochism - female domination - venus - Sacher-Masoch - Venus in Furs (film)

Venus in Furs (1870) Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch
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The obsessive fantasy to be enslaved and brutalized by the woman he loves becomes a cruel reality for poor old Severin. As beautiful Wanda slowly becomes thrilled and captivated by the notion of fulfilling her role in his fantasy, a role that previously made her shrug and laugh, she eventually transforms herself into the controlling dominatrix of Severin's dreams--by becoming more ideal at the sadomasochistic lifestyle than he had ever dreamed was possible. As Severin becomes the ever so content and happy slave, this tug-of-war between self-esteem and power begins to twist and turn with the innocent and deadly psychological games played out between the two. Written more than a hundred years ago, this psychodrama of love, bound by the perverted desires of one and the demon lying dormant within the other, was tastefully and artfully done. --B.D.Holland via amazon.com


Venus in Furs is a novel that tells of a man, Severin, so besotted to a woman that he requests to be treated as her slave, and encourages her to treat him in progressively more degrading ways. Severin describes his feelings during these experiences as supersensuality.

At the end of the book, Severin ceases to desire to submit. At the end of the book he states that men should dominate women until the time when women are equal to men in education and rights: an ending that can be viewed as both misogynist and feminist.

The novel closely parallels events in Sacher-Masoch's own life.

The word masochism was coined by the 19th century psychiatrist Krafft-Ebing with Sacher-Masoch and his writings in mind.

The lyrics of the Velvet Underground song `Venus in Furs' refer to this book. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_von_Sacher-Masoch [2004]

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