20th June 2011
Over a year ago I wrote a post about The Story of O in which I said….
“Hmm, where do I start with this one? I mean, what’s there to say about this book that has not already been said. It is, after all, one of the most famous erotic novels of all time, much reviewed, analysed and discussed.” (you can read the rest of that post HERE)
Then yesterday, thanks to the wonder that is Twitter, I stumbled across this piece about the author of The Story Of O. It seems that much has been written about the book itself but this article by Carmela Ciuraru, originally written for her book Nom de Plume: A (secret History of Pseudonyms, examines the life is of O’s creator.
Having talked to many people about this book I have long ago come to the conclusions that it falls into the, you either love it or you hate, category, but no matter which one you fall into I think you will find this article a fascinating read. I know I did. I will admit I am in the ‘love it’ group so maybe I biased but knowing this about the book…..
“Desclos (or, rather, Aury, as she became known in her early thirties) was obsessed with her married lover, Jean Paulhan. She wrote the book to entice him, claim him, and keep him—and she wrote it exclusively for him. It was the ultimate love letter.”
….had me enthralled right from the start. She wrote it to ‘claim him’? Did it work? How did it end up getting published? Why did she use a pseudonyms? Did she claim to be ‘O’? Where these writings fantasies or based on real life experiences? All this and more is answered in this article so if you have ever been curious about the woman who created ‘O’ then I recommend you read it and if you had never read the book, then you really should read that too. It truly is a unique work.