Who gave us the term 'masochism'. Venus in Furs presents a good counterpoint to de Sade's philosophy in that Severin, the hero of the book, actually loves life and wants to experience it further while Sade for all his explicitness has a very negative opinion of life and its potentialities. Severin is in love with love so much that he's willing to become a slave to the woman he loves, and experience life as a slave with the punishment that goes along with it, in order to realize his love and his devotion more fully. His only error is that he forgets that women are mere mortals and not goddesses. But you'll have to read the story to find out what I mean by that.
The book's short, about 125 pages, and is available at corporate chain bookstores who are ready to exploit people's want of the forbidden everywhere.