‘Unsatisfied Desires’ & Pornographic ‘O’

Passion, Fancy and Unsatisfied Desires This remarkable painting by the Polish artist Tadeusz Styka (1889-1954) recently presented itself, quite by surprise, on my Facebook screen and put me in mind of a phrase only half remembered; "those Kinds of Distress which excite agreeable Sensations". Not only did I go in search of information about Tade … Continue reading ‘Unsatisfied Desires’ & Pornographic ‘O’

O – au contraire

(beautiful art by Patrice Dohollo) "Female erotic writing is an enterprise that, in order to achieve its fullest realization, requires many diverse voices and narrations, given the many different experiences each one of us carries with us and brings to bear along the way." - Maria Rosa Cutrufelli "The woman born Anne Desclos one hundred … Continue reading O – au contraire

Another dip into my ‘O’ scrapbook: artists of ‘O’, could-be artists of O, plus our lady author of ‘O’…

"Stories of O: Sir Stephen & the Owl" (2021) diptych in oil by Stefan Prince Auction Sale: Another artist to add to my gradually increasing list of 'Artists of O' goes by the initials of 'AB'. Auctioneers Christies recently sold this first edition of Histoire d'O ([Paris:] Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 1954). It included eight original sketches … Continue reading Another dip into my ‘O’ scrapbook: artists of ‘O’, could-be artists of O, plus our lady author of ‘O’…

Artists of The Torture Garden

Artists of The Torture GardenLe Jardin des Supplices [The Torture Garden] by Octave Mirbeau Auguste RodinRaphaël FreidaPaul de PidollGio ColucciJeanette Seelhoff Edouard (Edy) LegrandPierre Leroy Stefan Prince In researching Histoire d'O I have found over twenty, very different, artists, illustrators and photographers drawn to and inspired by the the novel. Additionally I have found nine … Continue reading Artists of The Torture Garden

“Her Own Private Chateau”

"Our culture makes a well intentioned but dangerous error in taking every thought experiment, every utterance, every representation, every fantasy of sexual expression seriously." As we journey into our new world of surveillance and paranoia, one that grapples with a new censorship, embraces #MeToo, and encourages our constant self-scrutiny, it is refreshing to read a … Continue reading “Her Own Private Chateau”

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”