First impressiOns, plus more from my ‘O’ scrapbook…

"Reading is the real fulcrum that lifts us up into new realms of thought and feeling, new atmospheres of reality, from which we free-fall into a deeper love of life itself. " - Maria Popova For such a slim volume Story of O has quite an impact! On first reading it can have a profound … Continue reading First impressiOns, plus more from my ‘O’ scrapbook…

Steven Carroll’s story of the ‘Story of O’

The Anarchy of Desire : Steven Carroll's O “If Story of O had been written in the 1970s and later it wouldn't have mattered.  But the fact is that Dominique Aury wrote it as a love letter to her lover, publisher Jean Paulham, soon after, in the rain-shadow of the Occuption, when words such as 'surrender', 'submission', … Continue reading Steven Carroll’s story of the ‘Story of O’

‘O’ as Phoenix: And Her Siblings

Story of O: the book (and the ring) O In the mid-1950s Story of O established itself in isolation, and under threat of a ban wherever it surfaced. Little wonder we all heard at some stage early in our lives, of this oddly titled book which conjured controversy (once it began to sell, and word … Continue reading ‘O’ as Phoenix: And Her Siblings

The REAL ‘Valentina’, & Guido’s “O”

Covid Claims Signora Crepax In early November 2020, in Covid 19-battered Italy (where given the inclination and wherewithal, one can sleep in a Valentina bed, keep one’s Crepax comic books in a Valentina cupboard, and admire one’s opulent Valentina wallpaper) news journals reported the sad loss of the latest of thousands of Italian casualties to … Continue reading The REAL ‘Valentina’, & Guido’s “O”

The “Poverty of Angels”

Stimulating the Imagination: Writers, Artists, Lovers, and Paulhan’s Mescaline Experiment Story of O author Dominique Aury grumbled in a television interview she gave aged 87, “Gaston Gallimard said, ‘We can’t publish books like this,' though he had published Jean Genet, which was much nastier!” O Above, clockwise: Dominique Aury, Jean Paulhan, Jean Genet, Cocteau's portrait … Continue reading The “Poverty of Angels”

Midwinter “Stories of O”

OF OWLS & MOONS AND... My gift to you this midwinter season is the sharing of a book I initially compiled just for my own pleasure. With my "notes in the margin", pictorial references, and a selection of my paintings and drawings drawn from some 25 years of my impulse to configure stories of 'O', … Continue reading Midwinter “Stories of O”

In Search of the Real ‘O’(2)

Clues: Another 'Roissy' ? & a Search for Jeannine Aeply Another Roissy?: Maison de Chateaubriand at La Vallée-aux-Loups The writer of Histoire d’O, outstanding ‘woman of letters’ Dominique Aury (born Anne Desclos), said of the writing of Story of O; “In order to… make it convincing, you have to give the details that provide the ring of … Continue reading In Search of the Real ‘O’(2)

In Search of the Real ‘O’

Business as usual at the offices of Éditions Gallimard In Search of the Real ‘O’ The acts (of sadomasochism) depicted in Story of O are well beyond the norm for 1954, to say the least. Can we possibly consider them as rooted in reality? Intrinsically this one and only novel by Dominique (Anne Desclos) Aury, … Continue reading In Search of the Real ‘O’

My ‘Story of O’ Blogs (1 to 65)

. A COMPLETE LIST OF MY O-BLOGS - including 20 'Artists of O' CLICK ON DATE TO VISIT RELEVANT BLOG POST 1. O at Sixty Two 23 January 2017 (a place to start:) Sixty years on, Story of O remains a powerful book, no longer as shocking as it once was, and no longer causing … Continue reading My ‘Story of O’ Blogs (1 to 65)


THE CIRCUS has become sexy in recent years. It is not surprising. The darkened theater of the circus plays upon our fantasies of the queer and the exotic. The beautiful, the strange and the grotesque collide in this magical other-world, intent upon the undoing of the social order, of the world, as we understand it.  … Continue reading THE CIRCUS DOLORES