I was curious to read the inspiration for the term Masochism and this book tells the story of a man who longs to be made the slave of a woman. It's a thin book, 126 pages with 40 pages of introduction. But the intro helps to position the book in it's time and relevance as well as how it influenced psychology. it's refreshing to see a book that so openly explores something that even by today's standards seems very fringe-y. Especially considering the book was written over 130 years ago. I give it 3 stars because the character seems to be a little dense in vehemently proclaiming he need to be subjugated, but easily cries uncle.
Venus in Furs is the novella that led von Krafft-Ebing to coin the term 'masochism' after its author in his 1890 Psychopathia Sexualis. Leopold von Sacher-Masoch tells the story of Severin, a young nobleman who meets a young beautiful widow named Wanda von Dunajew, and ultimately places himself in her hands as her slave. It's a brief, frenzied affair without any sexually explicit scenes, but the cruelty and repetition can make one flinch. The introduction by Larry Wolff provides great historical context of the life and times of Sacher-Masoch—who entered into a similar relationship with a woman who renamed herself Wanda and became his wife—as well as its literary themes, but be warned that it provides spoilers for the entire story, a brief whimsical statement on love and the relationship between the sexes.