|Born||23 September 1907|
|Died||27 April 1998 90) (aged|
Anne Cécile Desclos (23 September 1907 – 27 April 1998) was a French journalist and novelist who wrote under the pseudonyms Dominique Aury and Pauline Réage, and is best known for her erotic novel Histoire d'O ( Story of O ).
Born in Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, France to a bilingual family, Desclos began reading in French and English at an early age. After completing her studies at the Sorbonne, she worked as a journalist until 1946 when she joined Gallimard Publishers as the editorial secretary for one of its imprints where she began using the pen name of Dominique Aury.
An avid reader of English literature, Desclos either translated or introduced to readers in France such renowned authors as Algernon Charles Swinburne, Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald and numerous others. She became a critic and was made a member of the jury for several[ quantify ] prominent literary awards.
Desclos' lover and employer Jean Paulhan, a fervent admirer of the Marquis de Sade, had made the remark to her that no woman was capable of writing an erotic novel. To prove him wrong, Desclos wrote a graphic, sadomasochistic novel that was published under the pseudonym Pauline Réage in June 1954.Titled Histoire d'O ( Story of O ), with a sympathetic preface by Jean Paulhan which nevertheless did not reveal her identity, it was an enormous, though controversial, commercial success. The book caused much speculation as to the identity of the author. Many doubted that it was a woman, let alone the demure, intellectual, and almost prudish persona displayed in Dominique Aury's writings. Many well-known male writers were alternately suspected to be the author, including André Malraux and Henri de Montherlant.
In addition, the book's graphic content sparked so much controversy that the following March the government authorities brought obscenity charges against the publisher and its mysterious author that were thrown out of court in 1959. However, a publicity ban and a restriction on the book's sale to minors was imposed by the judge. Following the lifting of the publicity ban in 1967, the conclusion to Story of O was published under the title Retour à Roissy using the pseudonym of Pauline Réage. However, according to her recent biography by Angie David, Desclos did not write this second novel. In 1975, she did a long interview about erotic books with author Régine Deforges, published by Story of O editor Jean-Jacques Pauvert, yet at the time her authorship was still unknown. An English-language edition of the interview was released in the United States in 1979 by Viking Press.
Eventually, Desclos publicly admitted that she was the author of The Story of O in 1994, 40 years after the book was published, in an interview with The New Yorker .She also explained the pseudonym of Pauline Réage: she chose the first name in homage to Pauline Bonaparte and Pauline Roland and she randomly picked up the name of Réage on a topographic map.
Writer of O, a 2004 documentary film by Pola Rapaport, mixed interviews with re-enactments of certain scenes from the book. In the documentary, the real author of Story of O, Dominique Aury (actually a pen name of Desclos), talks about the book A Girl in Love. This book was written about how Story of O was written.
A documentary was also made for BBC Radio 4 entitled The Story of O: The Vice Francaise, presented by Rowan Pelling, former editor of the Erotic Review , which looked at the history of the book and its author Desclos.
Erotica: A Journey Into Female Sexuality , a documentary by filmmaker Maya Gallus, featured the final interview with 90-year-old Dominique Aury (a pen name of Desclos) before she died. In the film, she recounts the extraordinary love story behind Story of O and marvels that she has reached such a grand age.
Desclos had a long-term relationship with her employer Jean Paulhan, the director of the prestigious Nouvelle Revue Française , who was 23 years her senior. She was actively bisexual at times in her life.She notoriously had a liaison with historian and novelist Édith Thomas, who may have been an inspiration for the character of Anne-Marie in Story of O. She had a son from a brief marriage in her early twenties.
In 2007, the National Leather Association International inaugurated awards for excellence in SM/fetish/leather writing. The categories include the Pauline Reage (a pen name of Desclos) award for fiction novel.
In 2020, Desclos was inducted into the Leather Hall of Fame.
A dominatrix is a woman who takes the dominant role in BDSM activities. A dominatrix might be of any sexual orientation, but her orientation does not necessarily limit the genders of her submissive partners. The role of a dominatrix may not even involve physical pain toward the submissive; her domination can be verbal, involving humiliating tasks, or servitude. A dominatrix is typically a paid professional (pro-domme) as the term dominatrix is little-used within the non-professional BDSM scene.
Story of O is an erotic novel published in 1954 by French author Anne Desclos under the pen name Pauline Réage, and published in French by Jean-Jacques Pauvert.
The role of sadism and masochism in fiction has attracted serious scholarly attention. Anthony Storr has commented that the volume of sadomasochist pornography shows that sadomasochistic interest is widespread in Western society; John Kucich has noted the importance of masochism in late-19th-century British colonial fiction. This article presents appearances of sadomasochism in literature and works of fiction in the various media.
Laura Antoniou is an American novelist. She is the author of The Marketplace series of BDSM-themed novels, which were originally published under the pen name of Sara Adamson.
Cecilia Tan is a writer, editor, sexuality activist, and founder of Circlet Press, the first press devoted primarily to erotic science fiction and fantasy. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also writes about baseball, but is not to be confused with a writer of the same name who specializes in Asian cookbooks.
Jean Paulhan was a French writer, literary critic and publisher, director of the literary magazine Nouvelle Revue Française (NRF) from 1925 to 1940 and from 1946 to 1968. He was a member of the Académie française. He was born in Nîmes (Gard) and died in Paris.
The Ring of O is a specially designed ring which has been worn as a distinctive mark among BDSM practitioners, mainly in continental Europe — and especially the German-speaking countries — since the 1990s. Its use is relatively widespread within this subculture. Its name derives from the name of the central female character in the classic BDSM novel Story of O, who was a sex slave and wore an analogous ring.
BDSM is a frequent theme in culture and media, including in books, films, television, music, magazines, public performances and online media.
Austryn Wainhouse was an American author, publisher and translator, primarily of French works and most notably of the Marquis de Sade. He sometimes used the pseudonym Pieralessandro Casavini.
Story of O is a 1975 Franco-German erotic drama film directed by Just Jaeckin and starring Corinne Cléry and Udo Kier. The screenplay is an adaptation of the erotic novel Story of O published in 1954 by Pauline Réage.
Guido Crepas better known by his nom de plumeGuido Crepax, was an Italian comics artist. He is most famous for his character Valentina, created in 1965 and very representative of the spirit of the 1960s. The Valentina series of books and strips became noted for Crepax's sophisticated drawing, and for the psychedelic, dreamlike storylines, generally involving a strong dose of erotism. His work was often politically motivated too, inspired by his Communist convictions. A film based on his work called Baba Yaga, featuring the character Valentina, was made in 1973.
Claire Thompson is a BDSM author who has published over fifty novels since 1996.
Cherise Sinclair is a romantic BDSM author who has had over a dozen novels published. One of her most recent novels, Make me, Sir (ISBN 9781607379423) was awarded The Romance Reviews Best Book of 2011 for erotic BDSM romance. She also received the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Novel Award for 2011 for The Dom’s Dungeon.
Édith Thomas was a French novelist, archivist, historian and journalist.
Éric Rochat was a French film producer, director and scriptwriter. He is mostly known for his success in producing erotic movies.
The Story of O 2 is a 1984 Franco-Spanish erotic drama film directed by Eric Rochat.
Ros Schwartz is an English literary translator, who translates Francophone literature into English. In 2009 she was awarded the Chevalier d’Honneur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her services to French literature.