Heather Buelow's Reviews > Venus in Furs

Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
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Dec 26, 11

bookshelves: fiction
Recommended to Heather by: Patrick
Read from December 25 to 26, 2011, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** This work seemed more about morbid psychological torture than eroticism to me. Interestingly, the narrator only seemed to find sexual pleasure when Wanda was being kind or gracious and allowing physical contact. The rest of the work is filled with psychological cruelty that Severin finds exciting, but not climactic.

I found it odd that the author chose to have the narrator "cured" of his masochistic tendencies by the end of the work, especially considering the author's own sexual preferences. Also odd was the easily oscillating nature of Wanda - and later the narrator as well - who could switch between the master and slave roles. Wanda is sporadically slipping out of her role and being a "normal" lover to him. Later she wishes to submit to the Russian. Severin changes his outlook on love by the end of the work and becomes a master figure dominating his new lover. This treatment of the roles makes it seem that pleasure is found simply in power-struggle (not torture or fantasy), and that masochistic tendencies from a psychological perspective are purely personal choice and not a deep-seeded "nature of the individual" - despite Severin's initial tales about his aunt's role in his youth.
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Reading Progress

12/25/2011 page 50
40.0%

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