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SM (in) Fiction

Related: sadomasochism - fiction

Related: detective magazines, comic books and early fetish magazines

Connoisseurs: Sheryl Straight

Writers (pre 20th century): The Marquis de Sade - Leopold von Sacher-Masoch - Catherine Robbe-Grillet

Writers (20th century): Edith Cadivec - Pauline Réage - Anne Rice - Deborah Ryder - Mollie Weatherfield - Mary Gaitskill

Titles and writers: Venus in Furs (novel) - Story of O (1954) - Gordon (1966) - The Comfort of Strangers (1981) - more ...

1905 Advert in Le Rire for a flagellant novel
image sourced here. [Jan 2005]


In general, the depiction of sadism and masochism in fiction tends to be portrayed from the viewpoint of masochistic fantasy.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadism_and_masochism_in_fiction [Apr 2005]

SM fiction

The Marquis de Sade's works, including Justine and Juliette are written from an extreme sadistic viewpoint.

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's novel Venus in Furs (1870) is essentially one long masochistic fantasy, where the male principal character encourages his mistress to mistreat him.

The Story of O (1954) is another classic masochistic novel, this time written by a woman, Pauline Réage. In this novel, the female principal character is kept in a chateau and mistreated by a group of men.

L'Image (1956) is another classic sadomasochistic novel, written by another French woman, Catherine Robbe-Grillet, under the pseudonym Jean de Berg. It was made into a 1975 film, The Image, also known as The Punishment of Anne.

The writer Anne Rice has produced a number of examples of well-written sado-masochistic fiction, including Exit to Eden and Belinda as well as The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and its sequels, Beauty's Punishment and Beauty's Release.

As of 2003, sado-masochistic themes are now common in mainstream erotic fiction, to the point of cliché.

More literary sado-masochistic fiction includes the works of authors such as

The novel Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey and its sequels belong both in the fantasy fiction and BDSM fiction genres. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadism_and_masochism_in_fiction [Jul 2004]

Flagellant novels

Flagellant novels were a popular form of erotic fiction in eighteenth and nineteenth century England. Predictably, these dealt graphically with erotic whipping of women, schoolgirls and others. One book by 'Etonensis' called "The Mysteries of Verbena House: or, Miss Bellasis birched for thieving" is held up as typical of the genre. A contemporary critic wrote of this book "After wading through so many dull, insipid, if not absolutely repulsive books on the subject, it is a relief to alight at last upon one which tact and clever writing render almost readable." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagellant_novel [Jan 2005]

Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair (1978) - Elizabeth McNeill

Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair (1978) - Elizabeth McNeill
[FR] [DE] [UK]

First sentence:
"The first time we were in bed together he held my hands pinned down above my head. I liked it. I liked him. He was moody in a way that struck me as romantic; he was funny, bright, interesting to talk to; and he gave me pleasure."

Last sentence:
"I slept with another man and discovered, my hands lying awkwardly on the sheet at either side of me, that I had forgotten what to do with them. I'm responsible and an adult again, full time. What remains is that my sensation thermostat has been thrown out of whack: it's been years and sometimes I wonder whether my body will ever again register above lukewarm."

Nine and a Half Weeks is a true story so unusual, so passionate, and so extreme in its psychology and sexuality that it will take your breath away.

Elizabeth McNeill was an executive for a large corporation when she began an affair with a man she met casually. Their sexual excitement depended on a pattern of domination and humiliation, and as their relationship progressed they played out ever more dangerous and elaborate variations on that pattern of sadomasochism. By the end, Elizabeth had relinquished all control over her body -- and her mind.

With a cool detachment that makes the experiences and sensations she describes all the more frightening in their intensity, Elizabeth McNeill deftly unfolds her story and invites you into the mesmerizing and dangerous world of Nine and a Half Weeks -- a world you won't soon forget.

About the Author
Elizabeth McNeill is a pseudonym. At the time of the book’s writing and original publication, McNeill lived in New York, where she worked as an executive for a large corporation.

Blog entry by One Life, Take Two - Wikipedia entry for the film - Everything2 entry

See also: 1978 - s&m fition - American literature

The Undergrowth of Literature (1967) - Gillian Freeman

[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Undergrowth of Literature (1967) - Gillian Freeman
Panther, London, 1969
(originally published by Thomas Nelson, 1967)
image sourced here.

But the book for which Gillian Freeman will best be remembered was of a much more spicy and sensational nature. In 1967 she caused a minor commotion with the publication of 'The Undergrowth of Literature', a study of the contemporary publications that dealt with dominant and submissive relationships, and with the publications devoted to material fetishes, such as leather or rubber.

It was published by Thomas Nelson & Sons, and was reviewed in the 'Times Literary Supplement', 'London Magazine', and the 'Financial Times', so it was a mainstream publication available at any bookshop. The introduction was by Dr. David Stafford-Clark, a high profile psychiatrist of the time.

However, while many works of art begin as 'underground' or 'fringe' productions and then enter the mainstream, 'The Undergrowth of Literature' has moved in precisely the opposite direction. It has been out of print now for more than thirty years, and second hand copies have gained a kind of mystical 'underground' aura which the original hardbound book never possessed.

Hence Gillian Freeman could be summarised as a female writer with interests in the cinema, a love of British culture, including popular culture such as 'schooldays' novels, and an interest in the world of petticoat discipline and related subjects, which led to the writing of what is now regarded as one of the definitive 'classics' in this domain. I never met her, but I have always thought that we had a lot in common. --http://www.petticoated.com/undergrowthoflit.htm [May 2005]

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