Synopses & Reviews
First published in 1870, this novella has since become the best-known of Sacher-Masoch's works. This Austrian author imagined an epic series entitled the 'Legacy of Cain,' and Venus in Furs has become the most famous of the first volume. The nested narrative begins with a nameless narrator who dreams of speaking to the goddess Venus about love as she wears furs. When he confides these dreams to his friend Severin, a young Galacian nobleman, however, he is given a manuscript to read that will reveal the terrible secret of Severin. As the tale unfolds, Severin's desire for a ruthless woman to love is personified by Wanda, a beautiful and affluent widow who fulfills Severin's darkest wishes. So skilled is she at domination, however, that Severin is soon powerless to escape his cruel lover's clutches and degrading schemes. When reality and fantasy intermingle in this subtle, erotic classic, the result is the original definition and a masterful acknowledgement of the sexual inclination for masochism, now eponymous with Sacher-Masoch.