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Now, of course, women are expected to write about their fantasies and what they get up to, and they do it with enthusiasm: this month sees the publication of One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bedtime, by 'Melissa P', who, we are told, is a year-old Sicilian girl with a taste for blindfold sex with several men at once. We've had swinger-sex from Catherine Millett and pensioner sex from Jane Juska, who advertised in the New York Review of Books for men who would also throw in some conversation about Trollope.

The burnings of Story of O by American campus feminists in the s have, it seems, had a less enduring and subversive effect than the book itself. But first things first. Story of O is not a book to read on the bus - or not the first 60 pages, anyway, which are written with an almost hallucinatory, erotic intensity that you would have to be rather peculiar not to be left hot and bothered by. Here, she is initiated into a secret society with complicated rules: she is not to look any man in the eye nor speak to any of the other women.

She must wear a corseted dress that exposes her breasts, a leather collar and cuffs. Any man may dispose of her as he wishes. O welcomes all this, understanding that the harsher the treat ments she endures, the more she proves her love. These are the pages that, in a third-person account written nearly 20 years later, the author described herself writing at night, 'lying on her side with her feet tucked up under her, a soft black pencil in her right hand For the first time in her life, she was writing without hesitation, without stopping, rewriting or discarding; she was writing the way one breathes, or dreams Dominique Aury, lying on her side in bed with her pencil and her school exercise books, did not intend the work to be published.

She wrote it as a dare, a challenge and an enterprise de seduction for her lover, Jean Paulhan. Probably, they were first introduced by her father, in the hope that she might solicit Paulhan's aid in publishing the volume of 17th-century devotional poetry she had collected. She did, and it was. Paulhan was a towering literary figure, handsome in an imperious way, with features that most readily expressed amusement and disdain.

In film footage from , when she was 81, and which she stipulated was not to be shown until after her death, Aury remembers him as 'tall, broad-shouldered, somewhat heavy-set, with a Roman-like face, and something both smiling and sarcastic in his expression'. Nearly two decades after his death, her eyes had a faraway look when she talked about him.

The atrocious fascinated him. The enchanting enchanted him. Literature was a shared passion. Dominique Aury once boasted that she had read all of Proust every year for five consecutive years. Novelist and cultural critic Regine Desforges, who became Aury's friend and who interviewed 'Pauline Reage' in , publishing the conversation as 'O m'a Dit, Confessions of O' remembers: 'Dominique Aury was fascinated by intelligence.

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The intelligence of Paulhan was obvious. And for her it became a kind of obsession. Jean Paulhan, a generation older than Dominique Aury, and in his early sixties when she wrote Story of O, was married twice. The first alliance produced a son; the second, to Germaine Dauptain, was overshadowed by her long illness with Parkinson's disease she was already an invalid when he met Dominique Aury, although she would outlive him by four years. Jacqueline Paulhan, who married his son, told me that in addition to his long relationship with Dominique, there were also other women: 'My father-in-law was quite the ladies' man.

By the early s, Aury was worried that his attention might be shifting. Well aware of his liking for erotic literature he had written a preface to de Sade's Days of Sodom , she said she thought she could do something similar. Paulhan was dismissive: erotica wasn't a thing women were capable of. In the footage, licensed by Rapaport to show in her documentary, she explained: 'I wrote it alone, for him, to interest him, to please him, to occupy him.

I wasn't young, nor particularly pretty. I needed something which might interest a man like him. Aury gave the notebooks to Paulhan, who thought the writing was too good not to be published and urged her to turn it into something longer, a proper novel. Aury admitted that after the initial explosive burst of energy, the writing slowed, and you can tell.

Fifty Shades of Grey and other BDSM movies: Bondage at the box office | The Independent

The erotic charge seems less intense. O has a job and answers the telephone and moves around Paris, which is all a bit awkward and pointless when you are supposed to be in thrall to an identity-crushing sexual cult.


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There are high points: the sex with women is obviously strongly felt Aury was actively bisexual at times in her life and she introduces the dark character of Sir Stephen, an Englishman to whom O is handed over. Sir Stephen, she told Regine Desforges, 'links to a desire for one's father. He is a father figure'. This is clearly an interesting development, from a Freudian point of view, but the switch of allegiances suggests she might have run out of steam with her first thought. And, generally speaking, the energy seems to fade. Regine Desforges, an impressive redhead who remains a household name in France, confirmed to me that Aury had never initially intended what she was writing to be made public.

Another friend, Elizabeth Porquerol, now 90, says, however, that, like all writers, Aury wanted to be published and was flattered by Paulhan's conviction that what she was doing was good. Aury wrote the further chapters and read them aloud to Paulhan as they were parked in the Bois de Boulogne or outside one of the cheap railway hotels where their assignations took place. He did not drive, and she used to ferry him around Paris. She apparently found this reading business quite difficult: 'It was a written text,' she explained, 'not meant to be spoken.

As O's tortures worsen and her torturers multiply, O attains a kind of calm, a purity of being, what Susan Sontag has called 'an ascent through degradation'. Clearly, submission to higher authority held an enormous attraction for Aury.

Story of O: The sadomasochistic passages

Aury succeeds in giving her book a novelistic shape. One immediately begins to suffocate there, to feel bored. It's tough to maintain the tempo of pornography, and Dominique Aury's final, rather pedestrian chapter was left out of the published novel. In its place were two alternative, perfunctory endings.

In one, the action dribbles out with no resolution; in the other, Aury merely says: 'Seeing herself about to be left by Sir Stephen, she preferred to die. To which he gave his consent. Paulhan said it was all right. You have to wonder if this is some kind of in-joke, since the book is about nothing but sacrifice. There seems no doubt that the style is all hers. Paulhan contributed a preface whose sentences have none of Pauline Reage's limpid clarity, and which is, in fact, extremely difficult to understand.

Aury herself told de St Jorre even she couldn't make head or tail of it. Paulhan took the book to their joint employer first.

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So when do we sign the contract? Pauvert, a round-faced man who looks scarcely any different now from the way he did in photographs when he was in his twenties, says he had known Dominique Aury 12 years before he was handed the book. She is a great writer and absolutely uncopyable. While many people speculated that O had been written by a man, or was the work of two or more authors, Regine Desforges always saw it as a quintessentially female work she also had good reason to know who the author was, because she had a serious relationship with Pauvert.

It is absolutely a feminist work, empowering to women. For the first time, a woman is revealing her sex life, and it is the woman who dominates the situation, her feelings, her responses, her trajectory. It was agreed that the book would be published simultaneously in English by the Paris-based Olympia Press, a strange outfit which published a good deal of pornography, mainly for sale to sailors, but which was also the original publisher of Lolita, The Ginger Man, Naked Lunch and some works of Samuel Beckett. Story of O came out quietly in June and didn't attract much attention until it won the Prix Deux Magots, nearly a year later, which also brought it to the notice of the Brigade Mondaine, the French vice squad.

I don't want to know your name. I don't want to know their names. I just want to be fucked in every hole. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 11 pages. More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Anna Bound , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

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Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. This teenie tiny, "book" is a super fast, super dirty, super trashy yet super hot story of a woman who wants to anonymously be used and abused for a few hours. One Dominant man is there, arranging for several other men to arrive. The main Dominant man orchestrates the activities, fulfilling Anna's filthy fantasies.

Whether the woman is doing this to please the Man or to sate her own needs is a mystery. Even the Man doesn't know All I know is that the story is dirty and hot! With less typos and This teenie tiny, "book" is a super fast, super dirty, super trashy yet super hot story of a woman who wants to anonymously be used and abused for a few hours. With less typos and more detail elaborating instead of using sentences like, "You come after ten minutes" to describe the woman's 1st orgasm , this could be a very successful gangbang erotica series! TravelingGal rated it it was ok Jan 09, Teresa rated it liked it Mar 16, Naughty Ness rated it really liked it Nov 10, Patti P rated it liked it Aug 08, Brkhse rated it really liked it Aug 07, Danny marked it as to-read Dec 07, Frederick marked it as to-read Feb 13, Jillian Byrd marked it as to-read Jul 28, Shirley Bradley marked it as to-read Oct 18,