THE ORIGINS OF LEOPOLD VON SACHER-MASOCH’S WORK

  • Oleksandr Glotov Kremenets Regional Humanitarian Pedagogical Academy named after Taras Shevchenko
Keywords: Freudism, masochism, Sacher-Masoch, Austrian literature, Polish literature, Ukrainian culture

Abstract

The term «masochism», which moved beyond the realm of professional medical paradigm a long time ago, was coined by one of the founders of sexology, Professor Richard von Krafft-Ebing in the process of creating the theory of sexual pathology which was based on some of the works of the Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, a native of the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

Freud's system of psychoanalysis considers this phenomenon among the elements of the unconscious in psychology. The deviation, which reflects a person’s tendency to gain sexual gratification through humiliation, was occasional and episodic in the works of Sacher-Masoch.  In his monograph «Psychopathia Sexualis», Krafft-Ebing refers only to one text, «Venus in Furs», as a result of which the researcher qualifies not only the characters in the literary work, but also the author himself as a sexual pervert. The name «Masoch» is not the ancestral affiliation of the writer, but a maiden name of his mother, the daughter of Professor Franz Masoch, the principal of the University of Lviv and an honorary citizen of Lviv. The writer, who at the time of the book publication, published in a small volume and in Latin, was not involved in scientific activities and may not have been aware of the use of his name as a scientific term.

A much more substantial vector in the writings of the German-speaking literary man, a representative of the Austrian imperial aristocracy and a university scholar, was his works on the history, way of life and customs of the Polish, Jewish and especially Ukrainian national minorities of the Austro-Hungarian region. This circumstance caused him to be regarded as a Pan-Slavist and Judophile by imperial literary critics of that time.

There is a tendency to explain the emergence of the «Ukrainian school» in Austrian literature and, in particular, in the books of Sacher-Masoch, by the close connection with the Ukrainian ethnos in Galicia in the early period of the writer's life. Similarly, the «Ukrainian school» emerged in Polish literature. It can be assumed that the cause of the «Ukrainian complex» in the authors' self-awareness of both Austrian and Polish writers is the feeling of a family obligation to the ethnic environment, which is perceived as a cradle. It would be promising to compare the images of Galician (Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian) women in the works of Sacher-Masoch with his real Slavic and pseudo-Slavic women.

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Published
2021-09-21
How to Cite
Glotov, O. (2021). THE ORIGINS OF LEOPOLD VON SACHER-MASOCH’S WORK. Studia Methodologica, 52, 72-78. https://doi.org/10.25128/2304-1222.21.52.07