Venus In Furs
(Written by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, 1870)
Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s masterful and infamously scandalous novella Venus in Furs is yet another eye-opening entry into Write Brain TV’s ever-expanding radical library. Extremely controversial at the time of its release due to its daring and shameful portrayal of sexual mores, the book has gone on to become an underground literary classic and even the inspiration for a song by the similarly disaffected cult heroes The Velvet Underground! Severin von Kusiemski is a stoutish and refined German man who, while entertaining a love-struck old friend, lends a manuscript named Memoirs of a Suprasensual Man, a detailed account of another roguish protagonist’s attempts to overcome his own infatuation with … a marble statue of Venus. In this story-within-a-story, the protagonist’s pining for the sculpted idol grows to an unbearably fiendish fetish when he meets an idyllically beautiful neighbor named Wanda, who bears a striking resemblance to his beloved Venus. For her part, Wanda, having spent most of her life as a promiscuous cosmopolitan socialite, enjoys the man’s company, and even more, the way she can bend his singular will on her command. Paralyzed by his lust for her and a twisted desire to submit to her in every and all fashions, the man Sacher-Masoch’s depiction of this cruel and humiliating relationship was so remarkable that ‘sadomasochist’ —- the namesakes of the notorious libertine Marquis de Sade and Sacher-Masoch —- was adopted as the term used to identify this type of sexual partnership.