The chapter on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
, which combines an attempted rediscovery with a discussion of his conflicting representations of Eastern European Jews, most clearly marks the methodological problems of an analysis which tries to assess the 'responsibility' of the authors for their 'negative Jewish characters' (p.
Perhaps sensing a need for context, producer-director Christine Richey spends much time laying meticulously illustrated groundwork of research by Marquis de Sade, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
, Richard yon Kraftt-Ebing and Erich Fromm.
The middle four chapters examine the history of sumptuary laws in Britain; the construction of fur as a sexual fetish in the late nineteenth-century novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
, Venus in Furs; the visual history of fur in painting and illustration; and the circulation of femininity, money, sexuality and fur in three twentieth-century films.
It was the birthplace of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
, a writer sympathetic to the cause of oppressed minorities.
This chapter is followed by one called "The Masochist's Gift," which focuses on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
's late nineteenth-century novel Venus in Furs.
Her great-great-uncle was Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
, the writer who gave his name to the term 'masochism'.
Hemingway's work does not feature incidents of female domination in the sense of the woman with the whip who so intoxicated Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
. But despite the absence of the dominatrix, submissive sexuality reveals itself more subtly and at times more dramatically than in the ritualized fantasies of Venus in Furs (1870).
Similarly in Die Judenbuche, where the murder of the Jew Aaron is investigated like any criminal case involving a Christian victim: 'Apparently a Jew was considered [...] a real person towards whom one had normal ethical responsibilities.' Starting with Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
's Galician stories, continuing with the well-established and much-researched canon of nineteenth-century literature featuring Jewish characters (Hauff's Jud Suss, Gutzkow, Droste, Hebbel, Freytag, Raabe, Ebner-Eschenbach, Saar), and concluding with the Alsatian writers Erckmann-Chatrian, Massey traces such 'normal' portrayals of Jews and of genuine interest in them.
This critique becomes clear if we compare in more detail Bloom's Circean visions to the text that inspired them, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
's novel, Venus in Furs.(4) While theorists like Krafft-Ebing, Freud, and Ellis explained masochism as a degenerative condition characterized by "a manifestation of psychical characteristics of the feminine type transcending into pathological conditions, insofar as its determining marks are suffering, subjection to the will of others, and to force" (Krafft-Ebing 211), I will argue that Joyce uses Sacher-Masoch's text to subvert rather than to affirm this "pathology" of effeminacy.