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Ordinary MasochismsAgency and Desire in Victorian and Modernist Fiction$
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Jennifer Mitchell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066677

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066677.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Mythologizing Masochisms

Mythologizing Masochisms

(p.21) Chapter 1 Mythologizing Masochisms
Ordinary Masochisms

Jennifer Mitchell

University Press of Florida

This chapter is a comparative reading of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, from which masochism is so named, and the Old Testament tale of Samson and Delilah in order to claims Samson as the actual “father” of masochism. Putting the two texts into conversation enables readers to understand that Samson willingly and pleasurably positions himself as subjected to Delilah—a conclusion made plausible by Severin, the protagonist of Venus in Furs. Chapter 1 argues that the long literary history of masochism begins not with Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, but with the mythical man his protagonist idolizes and the long erotic legacy of betraying women as a result.

Keywords:   masochism, Samson and Delilah, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs

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