Thursday, September 27, 2012
"Every so often she appeared before me like a vision among my leather-bound books and dead bones."
Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (the father of sadomasochism) is at times perfectly paced and at times redundant. I pity Severin and I understand him. I pity/loathe Venus and I understand her, as well. The idea expressed repeatedly in the beginning (which sets an important tone for the rest of the book) of gods and goddesses being the only real lovers to have existed and how we are living in the cold expectation of what they forced us to imagine, is brilliant. The image that resonates throughout of pale, marbled Wanda/Venus, always chilled by her disappointing reality and inevitably crumbling lovers, in contrast to Severin's obsessive, submissive passion is tremendous.
The novel is delicately and emotionally written which makes it hard to reconcile the voice of the speaker with the actions being played out. And this is why is works so well.
"Stay among your northern fogs and Christian incense; let us pagans remains under the debris, beneath the lava; do not disinter us.... We are chilled in your world."