Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs

Overview

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." He shows that masochism is something far more subtle and complex...

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Overview

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." He shows that masochism is something far more subtle and complex than the enjoyment of pain, that masochism has nothing to do with sadism; their worlds do not communicate, just as the genius of those who created them - Masoch and Sade - lie stylistically, philosophically, and politically poles a part.Venus in Furs, the most famous of all of Masoch's novels was written in 1870 and belongs to an unfinished cycle of works that Masoch entitled The 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.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This provocative work places von Sacher-Masoch's classic 1870 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.'" Keith Thompson , Utne Reader

Zone Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780942299557
  • Publisher: Zone Books
  • Publication date: 3/19/1991
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 294
  • Sales rank: 688,707
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII, Vincennes/Saint Denis. He published 25 books, including five in collaboration with FĂ©lix Guattari.

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Table of Contents

Coldness and Cruelty
Foreword 9
I The Language of Sade and Masoch 15
II The Role of Descriptions 25
III Are Sade and Masoch Complementary? 37
IV The Three Women in Masoch 47
V Father and Mother 57
VI The Art of Masoch 69
VII Humor, Irony and the Law 81
VIII From Contract to Ritual 91
IX Psychoanalysis and the Problem of Masochism 103
X The Death Instinct 111
XI Sadistic Superego and Masochistic Ego 123
Venus in Furs
(Complete Text) 143
App. I A Childhood Memory and Reflections on the Novel 273
App. II Two Contracts of Masoch 277
App. III The Adventure with Ludwig II 281
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