To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Venus in Furs Paperback – October 1, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
A timeless volume, recommended for bed-sitting aesthetes everywhere. -- Small Press
The quintessential Sacher-Masoch novel, in which he most succinctly sets out his obsessions. --John Strausbaugh, New York Press
About the Author
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was born in 1836 in Lemberg in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A prolific novelist, playwright, and historian, he is best known for his erotic obsession with being flagellated by despotic women. He is the man who inspired the word "masochism." In addition to Venus in Furs (1870), Sacher-Masoch's works include Don Juan of Kolomea (1865), Female Sultan (1873), and Galician Stories (1875). He died in Lindheim, Germany in 1895.
Matthew Kaiser is Associate Professor of English at Harvard University.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Severin, the protagonist, feels authentic and passionate. His myopic memoir view of his "Venus in Furs" leaves you wondering how much of her is real love and vicious cruelty and how much is projected by him, adding complex psychological and emotional depth and leaving more questions unanswered than the tidy ending intimates. Did he finally live out and exhaust his youthful trauma induced coping fantasies, or just run from life, and become bitter? We'll never truly know.
The book is definitely worth reading BEFORE you see the Roman Polanski movie; so you can differentiate the actual novel from the movie dialog. The movie is about a director and an actress who intend to perform a stage version from the novel. So there's nothing graphic in the movie and worth seeing in terms of male-female dynamics. Certain scenes from the novel are pantomimed only. The novel is much more than the Lou Reed song! The basic message: NEVER let your love for another person allow you to submit to complete enslavement. No matter how gratifying it may be at any one point, it will not end well for you. As I read the novel, especially toward the end, I often thought, "No, Sererin, you're not gonna agree to THAT!" It's worth noting how, in the book, Vanda is reluctant to acting with cruelty and only gives in when he pleads for it. It's sort of a kinky "Gift of the Magi" with both trying to prove their love to the other.It's worth reading with a small (co-ed) group and discussing later.
It starts off with a man named Severin and he is in love with the Venus statue. One day a woman comes to his house and she reminds him of his beloved Venus and he falls madly in love with her. Apparently when Severin was younger, his aunt had beaten him while wearing furs and it turned out that Severin wanted that from his beloved as well. Wanda was just a wandering woman who ends up meeting Severin and falls in love with him. It is when he ignites a light in her that is impossible to distinguish. Severin makes her whip him while wearing her finest of furs. Wanda loves Severin and doesn't want to hurt him but when he tells her that he wants to be treated as a slave, she does so. She beats him and makes him her slave as they went on the road. Wanda became mad with power and loved beating Severin up until a point where she got bored.
I think this is possible the first S&M book written (I know I'm wrong) but it felt like it. It wasn't really an entertaining book and I felt bad for Severin at some points but he was asking, begging, for it so that is what he deserved. I would recommend for an easy read to see how a sweet innocent woman can become a devil in furs.