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Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Anvil or The Hammer?

Anyone feeling a little masochistic should definitely read Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's infamous Venus in Furs. It's very different than you would suspect, leaning much more towards suspense and brooding atmosphere, combined with quite some interesting philosophical insights and poignant observations; even for not so submissive folks, yess i'm talking about myself dolores, quite the read. And the ending is very much the turnaround. So in light of its theme, let me already spoil it, ya feelin the pleasure already?
The moral is that woman, as Nature has created her and as man up to now has found her attractive, is man’s enemy; she can be his slave or his mistress, but never his companion. This she can only be when she has the same rights as he and is his equal in education and work. For the time being there is only one alternative: to be the hammer or the anvil. I was fool enough to let a woman make a slave of me, do you understand? Hence the moral of the tale: whoever allows himself to be whipped deserves to be whipped. But as you see, I have taken the blows well; the rosy mist of supersensuality has lifted, and no one will ever make me believe that the sacred wenches of Benares (1) or Plato’s rooster (2) are the images of God.

[1] One of Schopenhauer's designations for women.

[2] Diogenes threw a plucked rooster into Plato's school and exclaimed: "Here is Plato's man."

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