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Pauline Réage (1907–1998)

Author of Story of O

12+ Works 4,225 Members 94 Reviews 5 Favorited

About the Author


Works by Pauline Réage

Story of O (1954) — Pseudonym; Author — 3,649 copies
Story of O, Part II: Return to the Château (1969) — Pseudonym; Author — 416 copies
Story of O; Return to the Château {complete} (1997) — Author — 92 copies
The Illustrated Story of O {abridged} (2000) — Pseudonym; Author — 52 copies
Literary Landfalls (1958) — Pseudonym; Author — 5 copies
Anthologie de la poesie religieuse française (1943) — Editor — 5 copies

Associated Works

The Loved One (1948) — Traduction, some editions — 3,590 copies
The Crack-Up (1945) — Translator, some editions — 920 copies
The Story of O [graphic novel Volumes 1-3] (1975) — Original Story — 91 copies
The Story of O [1975 film] (1975) — Original Story — 42 copies
Story of O, Volume 2 (1984) — Original Story — 20 copies
Story of O, Volume 1 (1988) — Original Story — 15 copies
Story of O, Volume 3 (1991) — Original Story — 11 copies
Erotiske fortællinger fortalt af kvinder (1996) — Author, some editions — 2 copies


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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Réage, Pauline
Legal name
Desclos, Anne
Other names
Aury, Dominique
Réage, Pauline
Date of death
Country (for map)
Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, France
Place of death
Corbeil-Essonnes, Île-de-France, France
Literary critic
Paulhan, Jean (lover)
Thomas, Edith (lover)
Awards and honors
Legion d'Honneur (Chevalier)
Short biography
Anne Desclos was born to a bilingual family and 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, originally as an editorial secretary. There she began using the pen name Dominique Aury. She had a brief marriage in her early twenties that produced a son. An avid reader of English and American literature, Aury became a highly respected translator of such authors as Swinburne, Waugh, Woolf, Eliot, Fitzgerald and many others, whose work she introduced to the French public. She also became a literary critic and was named to the juries of several prominent literary awards. She had a longtime affair with Jean Paulhan, a French writer and publisher who was married and 23 years her senior, and wrote "The Story of O" to please him. It appeared under the pseudonym Pauline Réage in 1954. Anne Desclos admitted authorship -- and her true identity -- many years later.



Story: 5.5 / 10
Characters: 7
Setting: 8.5
Prose: 7.5
MXMLLN | 80 other reviews | Jan 12, 2024 |
This book is not about sex, although there is plenty of it, and mostly of a completely unerotic nature. Rather, it about the complete and voluntary handing over of a beautiful woman's will to others. That she also hands over her body is important, but also incidental. The book's spare prose and haunting atmosphere, so French, are beautiful.
ponsonby | 80 other reviews | Nov 3, 2023 |
The buzz around the 50 Shades phenomena still hasn't subsided. There's now a magazine dedicated to the series and a new book due out in December. I didn't really want to read another book from this series but I thought I'd delve into the genre again and decided to read The Story of O. This book shows how S&M is definitely not something new. The book is over 50 years old and in my opinion is far superior to 50 Shades of Grey, which at times read like a silly soap opera. I'll never fully understand why women will willingly submit themselves to such debasement but The Story of O does gets much more into the psyche of the character than 50 Shades, so I do have a somewhat better idea of how and why this alternate lifestyle continues to persist.… (more)
kevinkevbo | 80 other reviews | Jul 14, 2023 |
Awfully sad and bleak story about a woman whose only desire is to be enslaved. Not your typical BDSM story, I think. All O wants is to have a man love her, even if that love means whipping, branding and sharing her with his 20 closest friends. In the beginning I felt bad for her, but wondered how she could be so vacuous and accepting of what her lover did to her. I also was amazed at her sexual stamina, as she was interested in both men and women, even after being taken repeatedly, she was still able to get aroused for the next man.
I can see why women wanted this banned and called it the objectification of their fair sex. I felt repulsed at O's lack of action, as she just PUT UP WITH everything that the men wanted her to do. All she wanted was to be loved, and once she knew that, everything was fine for her.

As I finished the story, all I could think of was "What a relief", as I can get back to characters with self respect, and gumption.
… (more)
kwskultety | 80 other reviews | Jul 4, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Doris Kloster Photographer
Sabine d'Estreé Translator
Adriaan Morriën Translator & Afterword, Translator
Jean Paulhan Preface
Leonor Fini Illustrator
Richard Seaver Translator
Anna Tilroe Translator
Nico Dresmé Cover designer


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