Obsession, infatuation, and sexual deviance fill this controversial psychodrama
Titillating and taboo, Venus in Furs tells the story of one nineteenth-century gentleman of means, Severin von Kusiemski, and his voracious lover, Wanda von Dunajew. Severin falls so deeply in love with his mistress that he asks the bemused paramour to enslave him.
Severin gets his wish: The beautiful Wanda, who has “a real talent for despotism,” takes to her role with unsettling aplomb. Days pass, and as she debases and brutalizes Severin, Wanda transforms into the whip-cracking dominatrix of his dreams. But even while Severin settles into his fantasy, events are unfolding that threaten to disrupt the power balance. This classic tale of sexual domination is as thrilling today as it was when it was originally published more than a century ago.
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Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836–1895) was an Austrian author and journalist who gained fame and notoriety for his writings on sexual fantasies. The term masochism is derived from his name.