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Venus in Furs

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3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  7,378 Ratings  ·  526 Reviews
'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 gai ...more
Paperback, New Edition, 160 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published 1870)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Feb 20, 2012 Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it it was ok
Shelves: literature
Umm, okay...

The first portion of this book is wonderful. The forced lasciviousness of the female protagonist, the pathetic attempts at seeming like a banshee, a Siren, all draped in furs and spouting some bullshit about Paganism. I have met this girl before, and this boy, I have watched their pitiful dance of apathy, their ham-handed fears of monotony and monogamy, the (in my opinion) bullshit notion that caring in the romantic sense for one chosen and well-suited person with whom you specifical
...more
Alex
Apr 01, 2013 Alex rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who wear fancy gloves to Renaissance Faires
"You interest me. Most men are very commonplace, without verve or poetry. In you there is a certain depth and capacity for enthusiasm and a deep seriousness, which delight me. I might learn to love you." (20)

This line really jumped out at me, because it's just what I imagine a lot of nerds imagine some lady will say to them some day. And they'll be like yeah! I have a depth and capacity for enthusiasm! I was just waiting for someone to notice! I bet nerds really like this book, which was written
...more
Elizabeth
May 04, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
"To be the slave of a woman, a beautiful woman, whom I love, whom I worship - !"
"And who mistreats you for it," Wanda broke in, laughing.
"Yes, who ties me up and whips me, who kicks me when she belong to another man."


If submission and bondage is your thing, then you will probably like this book. In a nutshell, Severin likes women. Severin likes women who are filthy rich. Severin likes women who are filthy rich and treat him like shit. Wanda is that woman. That is pretty much what Venus in Furs i
...more
Steven  Godin
My initial fears with 'Venus in Furs' was would it sink into the darker depths of depravity similar with that of Donatien Alphonse François (the Marquis de Sade), but didn't need to worry, because I was pleasantly surprised by it's charming and playful nature. Predominantly only two characters take centre stage, with nobleman Severin von Kusiemski falling under the seductive spell of the flame haired Wanda von Dunajew, he loves her so much to the extent of wanting to be her slave, and encourages ...more
Helen Stavraki
Στο βιβλίο αυτό του Λεοπόλδου Φον Ζάχερ-Μαζόχ, απο τον οποίο προήλθε και ο όρος "μαζοχισμός",παρακολουθούμε την θλιβερή και νοσηρή ερωτική ιστορία ενός νεαρού άεργου καλλιεργημένου άντρα του Σεβερίν,με μια νεαρή ελκυστική και ανισορρόπη χήρα τη Βάντα.
Ο Σεβερίν έχει εμμονή με τον πίνακα του Τιτσιάνο (η Αφροδίτη με τον καθρέφτη) και μέσα στον παραλογισμό του έρωτα και του πόθου του για τη Βάντα, την ταυτίζει με τον διάσημο πίνακα. Η Βάντα είναι η δική του Αφροδίτη με τη γούνα.

Τη φαντασιώνεται ως
...more
Greg
Aug 16, 2009 Greg rated it it was ok
How I caused irreparable harm to our entire country because of a relationship gone sour with the author of Anti-Oedipus"

Confession time. I didn't really read this book, but I'm going to rate it anyway. I did read the Deleuze book Cruelty, which is him writing about Venus in Furs, and then the book itself. I remember really liking the Deleuze part, but at that point in my life I was so in love with Deleuze that he could have written anything and I would have ejaculated all over it. It was a bad t
...more
Meredith
Sep 18, 2010 Meredith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novellas
Haven't reviewed on goodreads in a while, but was googling this work's translation dates and came across the negative reviews here. Thought I should contribute my defence.

What Makes Venus in Furs a groundbreaking and thoroughly enjoyable work?

1)Literary tradition

The finely-rendered frame structure follows the German novella tradition's strong, almost proscriptive, tradition of narrative framing (think Goethe, Storm, Hoffmann). Accordingly, it created a sensation among early readers by presenting
...more
Jessica
Dec 13, 2007 Jessica rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: kids who are just getting into the velvet underground
If I remember correctly, this book was stupid. It also seems to have contributed to a lot of ridiculous behavior, and has led indirectly to many horrendous cultural products such as "people taking their silly sex hang-ups waaaaay too seriously," "fetish nights," "vinyl outfits," and "that irritating kid in your freshman dorm who walked around with a leash around his neck."

BUT, on the PLUS side, having read it made me feel way more knowledgeable about the VU song on the banana album, which I gues
...more
Evan
I wanted to write an in-depth review, quoting favorite passages from the book, but for now let's just say that this was the right read for me at the right time. I was expecting it to be titillating and dirty but instead encountered something rather lovely: a concentrated tale of obsession and longing and risky role playing that turns a woman emulating a simple ancient Grecian hedonism into a enthusiastic wielder of capricious physical and mental cruelty -- rendered to the sadomasochistic male lo ...more
Tia Katrina Canlas
Sep 26, 2009 Tia Katrina Canlas rated it did not like it
The vocabulary in this book mirrored its repetitive plot. It was as if Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch's translator was assigned to use the words "dilettante", "suprasensual", and "ermine" as many times as humanly possible in the course of 100 pages-- to lazily tell a story about a man who wants to be his lover's slave. Wanda's character tortures her readers more than she does Severin by boring us to tears.

When Sacher-Masoch did finally catch my attention for once, I was left disappointed, filling in
...more
Teresa
Jun 07, 2014 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-austria, e3
Foi o livro Venus à la Forrure (o título em português foi dado por Ana Hatherly), de Sacher-Masoch que deu origem ao termo Masoquismo.
Vai daí, já se está mesmo a ver qual o assunto tratado neste romance...que de erótico não tem nada, mas de cómico tem tudo.
Séverine que, com pouco mais de trinta anos, já "quase não se podia mexer; já quase não respirava (pudera, com tanta porrada que levou...) conta a um amigo a sua louca paixão pela sádica Wanda. Ela não queria bater-lhe, mas ele pediu tanto tan
...more
Khashayar Mohammadi
Nov 14, 2014 Khashayar Mohammadi rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much it worries me.
Christina
Sep 17, 2010 Christina rated it it was amazing
This book is great, short as it is. And I was hankering to try another book on the topic of female domination after reading "Permanent Obscurity" by Richard Perez, which I truly enjoyed. "Venus in Furs" starts out a little stiffly but ups the ante as Severin gets himself into more trouble than he bargained for. Yeah, my word of caution to all you would-be male slaves out there: Be careful what you wish for! If your dream is be debased, be prepared when it happens! Come to think of it, it reads l ...more
Shamus McCarty
Mar 09, 2012 Shamus McCarty rated it did not like it
So I finally picked this back up and I remembered why I stopped reading it. This guy is just such a PUSSY! Nothing against Leopold, (or pussy, one of the most powerful things on Earth) he wrote a pretty progressive book for his time. But JeeeZeus!

Anyways, I doubt my 1 star will hurt the ratings of this masterpiece. And I really do respect it as a masterpiece, due to the era in which it was written. But the Mona Lisa is also a masterpiece that’s not very impressive 600 years later.
أسماء القناص
Feb 24, 2017 أسماء القناص rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
تحديث: صدر عن دار أثر للنشر ترجمتي لرواية ڤينوس في الفراء

قراءة ماتعة يا أصدقاء (:

***

"وضرب الرب القدير سبحانه فأسلمه ليدي امرأة"
سفر يهوديت

تراءى لي أن أنغمس في أعماق سيڤرين الجريحة، تلك الروح المتعطشة للإهانة والإذلال، الروح التي لم تكن إلا تجسيدًا مرهفا للخط الرفيع مابين الألم واللذة. سيڤرين لم يكن إلا أحد الذين تفردوا بعذاباتهم ونجحوا في الوصول لمبتغاهم -أقصى مراحل اللذة- هكذا كان الشاب العذب الذي يحمل من الوداعة والعاطفة ما يكفي؛ لجعله ينقاد لڤينوس إلهة الحب والجمال، العصية على الولوج، ذات
...more
hypothermya
Aug 13, 2007 hypothermya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sexuality, literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Max Nemtsov
Сентиментально-романтическая белиберда, томная и наивная — вот что есть эта повесть, из которой раздули культ. Даже с поправкой на время. Незрелость чувств, эмоциональная нестабильность, самолюбование — все эти штаны на лямках австро-германо-польско-русской молодежи побуждали ее прилипать к неодушевленным объектам (с ними-то проще, чем с живыми людьми, в отношениях с которыми думать надо, чувствовать, а тут — еби туфлю на здоровье, она тебе слова в ответ не скажет). Ну в общем (я по необходимост ...more
Nostalgebraist
One of the goofiest things I’ve ever read. So many reversals on top of reversals! Such impassioned torrid writing!

And yet it’s all basically about a guy and his specific fetishes and how he can’t distinguish “an approximation of a fantasy, instantiated in reality” from “the fantasy itself.” He keeps asking his lover to do the stuff he fantasizes about, but then when the situation starts to involve her free will and she doesn’t do exactly what her fantasy equivalent would, he’s like “what the hel
...more
Rebecca
Apr 08, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
What larks. Got all political at the end, apparently us women are tyrannous in love on account of social oppression.

*threatens theory with whip* ;)

kaelan
Jun 22, 2012 kaelan rated it really liked it
I often find that I will initially be enthralled by a new book; but, as I read on, my attention will begin to flag, and my interest wane. Venus in Furs, however, was different. Yes, I was hooked from the very first pages. And yes, I began to get—not ‘bored,’ per se, but apprehensive about halfway through. Apprehensive, as in: maybe this isn’t really as good as I thought; maybe my expectations were too high....

But upon reaching the conclusion of the novel—an ending which, I must admit, I did not
...more
Rachel
This book is a fascinating, if a bit unsettling, exploration of the more aberrant relationships that can exist between the sexes. I've always been somewhat surprised that so few people seem to have read it; they may have heard of it, or know vague details as to the plot, which is still infamous even by today's standards, but it does tend to get overlooked as one of the great books of its time period. Personally, I'd recommend it highly, if for no other reason than to experience the subversive lo ...more
Kelly
Apr 02, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I guess because masochism is something hard for me to grasp and understand, it made it all the more intriguing to read about, especially when it was written so long ago.
Becky
Aug 28, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it
Venus in furs is essentially a short story told as a warning against allowing yourself to become the slave of beauty. Severin, the chief protagonist, dreams of being dominated by a goddess in furs, but finds that the actual experience cures him of these desires. The central premise is that one can choose to either be the hammer or the anvil within a relationship. Neither of these situations are seen as being desirable. The novel itself contains a very modern final note, the disparity in relation ...more
Mishek
Jun 20, 2015 Mishek rated it liked it
Surprising lack-luster action given the nature of the read. Where are the beatings, the humiliations, the pain!? Not here. It's like this guy's girlfriend yells at him and he thinks "Hey, I like that - yell at me some more!" Anytime the action seems to be heating up, it quickly peters out (forgive the pun). That being said, you'll be hard pressed to find a text with such intense pining for pain as this offers.
Bryn Hammond
Apr 27, 2016 Bryn Hammond rated it it was amazing
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 wonder
...more
Jaybird Rex
Apr 19, 2010 Jaybird Rex rated it it was amazing
Reading through the other reviews it looks like many folks just blow this off as dullish Victorian erotica (maybe better than De Sade, maybe not), and not altogether deep. I have to disagree, mainly because I think sex is only one facet of what's going on here. Venus in Furs deals with THE fundamental dilemmas we humans face in being something between angels and bloodthirsty apes. The dream at the beginning of the book is a beautiful start to a bold work -- not bold in that it's racy or kinky, b ...more
Raphael Lysander
Feb 11, 2016 Raphael Lysander rated it really liked it
It's a bewildering thing how a man who imagine himself as women's slave and dog, and kneels under their feet still finds a way to talk in a supercilious manner about women!
Still, this book is way much better than 50 Shades because it's not just short messages, or teenage crush, or sexual descriptions. This book show as clearly the mentality behind such a desire, the passion, the love; whether it exist in such case or not. Not merely a porn in text.
Ebtihal
Nov 30, 2016 Ebtihal rated it it was amazing
في الواحدة وأربع دقائق، في الأول من ديسمبر، ألفان وستة عشر أنتيهت من قراءة ڤينوس في الفراء، ترجمة المترجمة أسماء القناص.
Laura
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
Vishy
Nov 01, 2013 Vishy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up mainly because it is short – around 150 pages. I wasn’t sure about the book as the author’s name – I am sure you would have guessed it already – inspired the addition of a new word to the language – masochism. But discerning readers have said good things about the book and so I thought I will read it. There are worse ways of spending a few hours, I thought.

‘Venus in Furs’ is the story of Severin and Wanda, the woman he falls in love with. Their love is, of course, not of th
...more
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Austrian writer and journalist, who gained renown for his romantic stories of Galician life. The term masochism is derived from his name.

During his lifetime, Sacher-Masoch was well known as a man of letters, a utopian thinker who espoused socialist and humanist ideals in his fiction and non-fiction. Most of his works remain untranslated into English. The novel Venus in Furs is his only book common
...more
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