Excerpt: ...and Wanda thrust forth her head full of curling- papers. "I haven't had my hair dressed yet," she said, smiling. "What have you there?" "A letter--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch was an Austrian writer of fiction and short stories, who inspired the clinical category of ‘masochism’. His complex sexual fantasies, involving the love of pain and submission, ignited a once secretive pursuit into that of a recognised fetish. His masterpiece inspired a famous song of the same name by The Velvet Underground, and continues to be referred to as a defining work within the realm of erotic literature.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Venus in Furs" is about a man who is obsessed with having his new mistress treat him like a slave. In particular, he wants her to become his ideal "venus in furs" and begs her to don furs and wield a whip against him. His desire to be treated as such is tested when she convinces him to sign an agreement to be her slave. The story is well-written, and one becomes drawn into the misery experienced by the man as his mistress becomes progressively more cruel.
The letters between Sacher- Masoch and Mataja show Sacher-Masoch's inability at times to separate his fiction from his real life. Sacher-Masoch speaks of his married life and encourages Mataja in her writing, but his
professional encouragement is shot through with requests to meet Mataja so that he can be whipped by her while she is wearing fur.
Although there are certainly more graphically erotic examples present in current fiction, this book is a must read for those wanting to know why Sacher-Masoch's writings inspired Krafft-Ebing to create the term "masochism."