Leopold von Sacher Masoch – Whip, Fur and “Evening Post”

Dignified, earnest, and strictly realistic. This is how oblique readers came to know (and still know) “Wiener Zeitung”. Angry tongues may claim dryness like dust, perhaps by taking a look at the attached “Official Gazette.” In any case, the newspaper, which had been in the hands of the state since 1857, had to meet the highest standards. After all, he lay on Emperor Franz Joseph’s desk every day, and he carefully read it. At least the main edition is published in the morning.

In contrast to the later version of the Wiener Abendpost, which was printed in the afternoon and styled in a more informal fashion. There was so much space that it seemed unsuitable for a sober morning newspaper or for the eyes of a king. For example, the compositions of a successful, but scandalous, even sinister author, whose name today represents primarily a special sexual orientation: Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.

Above all, Ritter von Sacher-Masoch caused such a stir because his works repeatedly described the preference that would later be called masochism. This is also the case in his most famous novel “Venus in Furs” about the young nobleman Severin and the beautiful widow Wanda. At his insistence, you agree to realize his fantasies and inflict physical and mental torment on him. Indispensable props for staging: fur and whip.

Like Severin and Wanda in fiction, the realist poet had a written contract with a woman. As Gregor’s slave the writer Fanny Bestor must serve; She vowed to herself “to wear fur as often as you can, especially when it is rough”.

When “Venus” appeared in 1869, the press reacted to its content with disgust – as long as it did not spread the cloak of silence about it. A Viennese critic summed up the prevailing opinion: “Beauvoy Théophile!”

Ancient Austria fascinated the Slavic author.  Here: a woman from Krakow (second from left) and Ruthenians.  - © Photo after: Racinet,

Ancient Austria fascinated the Slavic author. Here: a woman from Krakow (second from left) and Ruthenians.

– © Photo after: Racinet, “Le costume …” / Archive

There is a second theme that resembles a red thread through Sacher-Masoch’s extensive work, once known but now largely forgotten: Galicia, the country of his childhood.

Born in 1836 in the city of Lviv (Lviv, Ukraine). His father, who was also named Leopold (1797-1874), held the office of the Chief of Police there. When it was moved, the family moved to Prague in 1848 and later to Graz. The old man’s desire for his son to pursue a career as a civil servant was not fulfilled. Filius preferred to study history, and after receiving his doctorate in 1856, he studied at the University of Graz as a private lecturer. But literature appealed to him more than science.

His first fiction book, A Galizian History 1846 (1858), shed light on his former homeland. Several works revolving around life in the vicinity of ancient Austria were to be followed.

Sacher-Masoch story (written here without a hyphen) June 7, 1881 in an appendix

Story by Sacher-Masoch (written here without a hyphen) on June 7, 1881 in the appendix to the latest edition of WZ’s Wiener Abendpost.

– © WZ Fax: M. Szalapek

So also one Galician culture with the address Three weddings, printed June 7, 1881 in the “Wiener Abendpost” supplement. Those who expected something offensive were, of course, disappointed. However, at some hints, beginners can smile knowingly. On one hand there is the main hero, a majestic old lady, Marshall Call. Her name is mentioned, apparently casually: Wanda Like the tyrannical “flower with fur”.

Or the advice that Wanda’s mother once gave her as a bride: If you want to rule your husband, put your feet first on the carpet in front of the altar. This reminds readers of the scandalous narration of Severin’s verses: “Put your foot upon your servant, / A beautiful, demonic mythical woman…” also Gorgeous sable fur The newlyweds were allowed to imagine the audience of “Abendpost”. In short: those who were informed clicked their tongues at the many allusions.

Feuilleton was one of many (more than a dozen) that Sacher-Masoch published in our paper in the 1880s. The enduring relationship with “WZ” was previously undefined.

Disagreements with Hieronymus Lurm (1821-1902) led to an uproar in 1866. Sacher Massach had publicly accused a “WZ” employee of serving the newspaper. This was reported in November in the “Abendpost” that too Hair sacher masoch leans hard for a long time was like maid services To take charge, he has Frequently offered work. Alone – they were inappropriate. A cruel blow to the young poet, how did he end up being the ‘house poet’ in the newspaper as they later wrote in 1928? Sure, the humiliation didn’t deter him, but there had to be more to it than that.

Well, firstly, the extroverted Friedrich the First (1825-1906) set a tone as chief from 1872. He broadened the work and linked well-known authors to the house. Second, Sacher Massachusetts needed money. Urgently. Wife’s fur Wanda (actually Angelica Aurora, née Romlin, 1845-1933) costs it. So in a letter, impatiently waiting for the “WZ” fee, he dreamed of buying hair, including “Kazabaika (= jacket). truly ermine”.

The man of literature was finally destroyed when psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing coined the terms masochism and sadism in 1890 and described him as a pervert along with the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), who was considered mentally ill. Sacher-Masoch died approximately in 1895 in Lindheim/Hesse, where he was involved in public education.

Brain teaser to guess: Has “Abendpost” been around for a long time? (Cracked walnut on next page)

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