Venus in Furs
by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1870)
Larry Wolff (Introduction)
Joachim Neugroschel (Translation)
‘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.
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.