Story of O

An exercise in storytelling and first personal reading of the famous novel Story of O (1954)


for POLIPply >10 – VOICINGS
Christian Bók, Frances Kruk, dan scott, Emmanuelle Waeckerlé, Lydia white

Histoire d'O (first edition)

“To a greater or lesser extent, everyone depends on stories, on novels, to discover the manifold truth of life. Only such stories, read sometimes in a trance, have the power to confront a person with his fate. This is why we must keep passionately striving after what constitutes a story.” George Bataille. Blue of Noon appendix: The author’s foreword (1957)

O for orifice, O for origin, O for objectification

Known for forty years as Pauline Réage, the author chose at 86, four years before she died, to reveal herself as Dominique Aury, a mild-mannered liberated spinster and literary editor for Gallimard, France’s most prestigious publishing house.

The reading is of a prepared text where only words containing the letter o remain, as a more accurate interpretation of the title; story of O, preceded by a preface where I reveal a rather personal connection to the story.

For this first reading of 28 mins,  I reached page 5. I am planning to carry on from this point forward for my next reading and so on until I reach the last word.

Ode to O

A body of work (book, cd, text scores, performances, prints) based upon the infamous erotic novel Story of O, in an attempt to navigate a passage through this difficult literary work and its notorious yet little known history.
The work began as a series of private love letters handwritten by Anne Cécile Desclos to her lover Jean Paulhan. It was first published in French in 1954, under the pen name Pauline Réage, and the official English translation appeared in 1965.