Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Story of O, erotic novel by Anne Desclos, first published in French (Histoire d’O, 1954) under the pen name Pauline Reage, itself a pen name for Dominique Aury, a French writer and translator who was a respected member of the literary establishment but who gained her greatest fame in 1994 when it was confirmed that she was the author, under the pseudonym of "Réage," of this erotic best-seller.

This novel, sexually explicit without being crude, is indeed the story of O, a woman whose love for a man leads her to increasingly submissive behavior - allowing herself to be sexually used, violently beaten, and physically mutilated, which releases her independence of thought, and eventually causes her to abandon her individual identity. II - Sir Stephen. The controversial work has been frequently criticized by feminists as a glorification of the abuse of women. Pillar of Salt: Gender, Memory, and the Perils of Looking Back.

This study guide contains the following sections: Plot Summary; Chapters; Characters; Objects/Places. This work, one of the most thorough and challenging ripostes ever made in a lovers’ quarrel, is distinguished less by its plot-about a beautiful fashion photographer called O who is forced to become a sex slave to a secret society of men and who is beaten and branded and eventually coaxed into enticing other women to become sex slaves—than by the manner of its prose, in particular the control exercised by Desclos in her depiction of O’s private musings and reflections during and after her submission to acts of torture and humiliation. Sir Stephen, O soon realizes, is to be her sole master - Rene, out of respect for him, cedes more and more sexual and physical control of O. Omissions? Not only does she dress differently (in a much more sexually available fashion), her colleagues at the fashion magazine where she works as a photographer comment on the change in her attitude and presence - she seems, to them, to be calmer and more peaceful. O is taught how to be obedient to these men but these men are irresponsible. As time goes on, however, O becomes more and more deeply devoted to Sir Stephen, coming to think of the brutal way he treats her as a sign of her worthiness to be cared for.
SUMMARY: "Réage"—a name invented specifically for The Story of O—was apparently told by her lover, the literary publisher Jean Paulhan, who was an admirer of the sadistic Marquis de Sade, that no woman could ever write an erotic novel. help you understand the book. The action of the novel concludes here, but an epilogue reveals that upon returning to the chateau, O was abandoned by Sir Stephen. Corrections?

Just what that path involves is made clear to Natalie when O, following the directions of Sir Stephen, is put on as a nude, silent, sexually titillating display at a party. In this exquisite and taboo novel of passion and desire, the answer emerges through a daring exploration of …

As they go, O is presented with a ring made of iron lined with gold, which she is to wear constantly as a signal to her, to her lover, and to anyone (male or female) who understands the life and teachings of the chateau, that she is sexually available. The apartment where O lived was situated on the Ile Saint-Louis, under the eaves of an old house which faced south and overlooked the Seine. One day, O is surprised and shocked to discover that Rene intends to share her with a man who is, in many ways, an older brother to him - Sir Stephen, a British businessman and aristocrat.

Rene eventually returns, tells O that she is to be taken back to their home, and prepares to leave with her.

For her part, O is at first determined to remain as emotionally faithful as she can to Rene.
Themes; Style; Quotes.

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