In his stunning essay, Coldness and Cruelty, Gilles Deleuze provides a on the relations between sadism and masochism, seeks to develop and explain. Masochism: Gilles Deleuze, Coldness and cruelty and Leopold von Sacher- Masoch, Venus in furs. Tr. Jean McNeil. New York: Zone Books. Masochism: Gilles Deleuze, Coldness and cruelty and Leo- pold von Sacher- Masoch, Venus in furs. Tr. Jean McNeil. New York: Zone Books, Pp.

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Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs

But this leads to the penultimate chapter, “Humor, Irony and the Law. Coldness and Cruelty Cover of the first edition. Fascinating foray into the world of sexual deviance, power play, and gender fluidity. That’s a nice thing.

A bookseller at Spoonbill and Whatever in Williamsburg told me that he didn’t find Deleuze to be a “systematic thinker. How do you explain Kafka and friends overcome with laughter at Kafka’s reading of The Trial? Sacher-Masoch’s prose is beyond all help, however; it’s a shame that something so hot in theory is so boring in practice, but then Deleuze, reputed to be among the most vanilla of French theorists in his own personal life, must appreciate that.

May 27, Stephen rated it it was amazing Shelves: One will move you more powerfully than the rest and it will become like an obsession – write it down!! I do not have the prerequisite knowledge of philosophy and psychoanalysis to really understand most of what he’s arguing here. It is always incredible to read a genre-starter maybe there is a better word for it?


Jun 12, Oriana rated it really liked it Shelves: Mar 14, Crulty rated it it was amazing. Everything I wanted out of a Deleuzian analysis of sadomachocism–eg. In a text that ought to invalidate all theories relating Sade to Nazism, Georges Bataille explains that the language of Sade is paradoxical because it is essentially that of a victim.

And also because I liked the Deleuze so much more than the Masoch. The novel is more of a lugubrious melodrama than a racy romance. In the Crhelty of Masoch, Deleuze explains his notions of Irony and Humour, Contract and Ritual, and the differences between the sadistic superego and masochistic ego.

Moore, Sexual Myths of Modernity: It is only intense sincerity which would lead Masoch to an obsessive fear directed towards the limits of the social contract. Sadism is essentially institutional, anarchic, apathetic, employing the quantitative power of demonstrative reason in an attempt to kill the mother and the ego in service of the superego, while Masochism is aesthetic, qualitative, cold, cruel, relies on the contract and employs suspense and disavowal to expel the superego and father in favor of a de- and re-sexualized ego, the new man under auspice of the Oral Mother.

Views Read Edit View history. Maybe not everyone would be comfortable with Deleuze’s characterization of sadists as mathematician-like and machinistic and masochists as more purely engaged in education and devotion, but I like it!

The victim cannot be masochistic, not merely because the libertine would be irked if she were to experience pleasure, but because the victim of the sadist belongs entirely to the world of sadism. I’m rating the Deleuze and Masoch separately. I love that Venus in Furs comes second and, of course, I really love that Dara Birnbaum did the cover. Jan 31, Alim faraji rated it really liked it. Return to Annd Page. Deleuze is one of those French guys Masochksm probably should have read in grad school, but didn’t.

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Yet his overweening effort to categorically separate what masochism IS from what sadism IS and ne’er shall the twain meet is unconvincing, forced and a bit sloppy. Looking back, maybe I was kind of a wimp.

Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty – Wikipedia

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 all of Masoch’s novels was written in and belongs to an unfinished cycle of works that Masoch entitled The Heritage of Cain. However, I highly enjoyed Sacher-Masoch’s prose.

He argued, then, that there is no good and evil, but rather only relationships which are beneficial or harmful to the particular individuals.

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Deleuze also distinguishes between attitudes towards the paternal and maternal images in the two systems. One of the easier books Deleuze has written, the chapter on the Death drive makes the whole book worth reading by itself. Mar 30, Conrad rated it liked it Shelves: