Masochism: Gilles Deleuze, Coldness and cruelty and Leo- pold von Sacher- Masoch, Venus in furs. Tr. Jean McNeil. New York: Zone Books, Pp. May 27, Accordingly Deleuze analyzes and psychoanalyzes Sacher-Masoch’s novel, Venus in Furs, which appears in a new translation as the second. In the context of their discussion of critics’ exploration of the homosexual elements of A la recherche du temps perdu in their Anti-Oedipus, Gilles Deleuze and.

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In his stunning essay, Coldness and Cruelty, Gilles Deleuze provides a rigorous and informed philosophical examination of the work of the late 19th-century German novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Deleuze’s essay, certainly the most profound study yet produced on the relations between sadism and masochism, seeks to develop and explain Masoch’s “peculiar way of ‘desexualizing’ love while at the same time sexualizing the entire history of humanity. Venus in Furs, the most famous of eeleuze of Masoch’s novels was written in and belongs to an unfinished cycle of works that Masoch entitled Deleuse Heritage of Cain.

The cycle was to treat a series of themes including love, war, and death. The present work is about love. Although the entire constellation of symbols that has come to characterize the masochistic syndrome can be found here – fetishes, whips, disguises, fur-clad women, contracts, humiliations, punishment, and always the volatile presence of a terrible coldness – these do not eclipse the singular power of Masoch’s eroticism.

This provocative work places von Sacher-Masoch’s classic novel Venus in Furs next to Deleuze’s essay arguing that popular assumptions beginning with Freud have effectively obscured cruuelty unique power of von Sacher-Masoch’s dfleuze as well as the true nature of what might be called a masochist ‘order.

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The History of Sexuality, Vol. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Sexuality and The Psychology of Love. Capitalism and Schizophrenia Penguin Classics. Review ” This provocative work places von Sacher-Masoch’s classic novel “Venus in Furs “next to Deleuze’s essay arguing that popular assumptions beginning with Freud have effectively obscured the unique power of von Sacher-Masoch’s eroticism as well as the true nature of what might be called a masochist ‘order.

Zone Books; Reprint edition March 19, Language: I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention venus in furs deleuze essay masochism text freud literature sade. Showing of 12 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.


Please try again later. Venus in Furs is undeniably a genuine literary masterpiece. It has been sadly neglected due to Krafft-Ebing’s labeling of the author’s name as a diagnosis for, well, masochism. It is definitely worth a read, or many, and is wonderful as both a novel-in-itself and as a description of how a fantasy which gets realized can be a terrible thing.

To it, I’d give the full five stars. Deleuze’s introductory essay, on the other hand, is a very low-quality piece of work. His argumentation is brilliant as practically always – I admit that I love his worksbut the essay itself is completely misleading.

This is because it has been based on his ideology and some highly faulty reference material: Krafft-Ebing never bothered with empirics, just quoted mostly literary sources, and what empiric references e. Freud Deleuze does use were done on psychiatric patients, not what we’d nowadays consider “sado-masochists”. Therefore, despite the excellent reasoning in the text, Deleuze arrives into completely ridiculous conclusions that contradict the reality of the phenomenon.

As an example of Deleuzian philosophy, the essay is very good. As an analysis of masochism, it is not only worthless, but actually harmful. Read it for the former, but not the latter. Basically, the dominatrix is not ‘the father’ in disguise, it is the woman that beats and the masochist becomes a subversive in banishing the father completely. Difficult to absorb the concepts as it propels one into the subconsious.

Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs by Gilles Deleuze

Takes time to reflect on one’s behaviors and others which allows the reader to examine the duality of the experience. Everything that happens is dynamic.

Words that become labels for behavior or symptoms of a syndrome are like Lenny Bruce on trial for trying to be funny. In France, a strong influence on literature since the birth of Nietzsche has been the kind of ideas which were previously associated strongly with the devil. Deleuze is close to Sade, Bataille, and Klossowski in seeing disavowal as a major theme in sexual relationships. Thinking about contracts to cover what is about to happen can be devilish.

In the middle ages, the idea of possession by the devil became diluted by the idea of an alliance with the devil as a way to achieve earthly power. Deleuze makes that contrast a part of his understanding of de,euze difference between actual masochism crhelty sadism. Bachofen is mentioned as an expert in three forms of primeval matriarchy. In the first, fickle phase, a father was nobody. Women had a world that provided what they needed clodness could bring up children without all the crazy characters who thought they were men.

A second and third type of women also get mentioned by Deleuze as stages in Bachofen’s theory of how people were cildness to patriarchal hierarchies. I was looking for a note numbered 11 that is not on the pages that I could see with Deleuzze Inside This Book.


Ancient cults that had prostitutes at temples were considered part of the first stage, in which women might be desired without cguelty a ball and chain. The idea of coldness as an emotional trait that avoids too much enthusiasm is lingering in some scholarly philosophy.

One person found this helpful. This refers to the book, Venus in Furs, not the essay by Deleuze. I loved this book. Not because I’m some psycho who enjoys pain, but because it tastefully deals with an issue that is too often either misrepresented as some libertine taboo or dealt with in a clinical way.

Instead you have a story that deals with love in a different way than a typical Danielle Steele romance novel or a “boy meets girl,” sappy drugstore paperback. And while it deals with passionate cruelty it, unlike books by Sade, captures unbridled desire and an inflamed heart.

It is truly a great work of literature, easily comparable to “The Sorrows of Young Werther” by Goethe. If you like sappy romance stories, buy something else. If you want an intriguing love story full of the passion of life and the strumming of the stings of emotion, read away.

Didn’t care so much for essay portion but they helped me to understand the “idea” of the doldness a little better. If for no other reason, buy this book to read Venus in Furs.

Deleuze buys into a lot of Freud’s notions about gendered family structure. I couldn’t make it past chapter 2 as a result. University does funny things to people’s heads. See all 12 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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