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by Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch

Edited and with and Introduction by Daniel Corrick

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, almost exclusively remembered today as the author of the prototypical “Masochistic” novel Venus in Furs, was, in fact, a thinker of far-reaching aspirations and abilities. The present volume is one of the first representative collections the Austrian writer’s shorter works in over a century.

Ranging from Viennese high-society to the lives of minorities in the east of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the tales herein explore Sacher-Masoch’s preoccupation with ongoing social disparities, the symbolism of Slavic mythology, and both the cruelty and nobility of the feminine soul. Featuring frenzied romantics, peasants, Sadistic noblewomen, artists, and eccentrics, The Black Gondola and Other Stories offers a new assessment of the fiction of one of the most interesting German-language authors, whose work, encompassing the poetic, macabre, and erotic, was also often surprisingly compassionate.

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895) was a novelist and social reformer whose fiction often explored the theme of feminine power and cruelty, as displayed in the corrupt high society of Imperial Vienna, as well as subjects from Slavic folklore and mythology. His principal work was the long and unfinished cycle of novellas which he published under the heading of The Legacy of Cain, the most famous of which was Venus in Furs (1869), an archetypical decadent work which became an important text of the Sexual Revolution and was an influence on artists as diverse as Franz Kafka and Lou Reed.