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The Story of O

The Story of O (Histoire d'O) is a sadomasochistic novel by French author Pauline Réage, the pen name used by Anne Desclos (1907-1998), who also wrote under the name of Dominique Aury.

Published in 1954, it is a fantasy about a Parisian fashion photographer who is blindfolded, chained, whipped, made to wear a mask and taught to be "constantly available".

One view of the novel is that it is about the ultimate objectification of a woman. The heroine of the novel has the shortest possible name, consisting solely of the letter O. This caused much speculation as to what it could symbolise or stand for, some suggesting object or orifice, but is in fact an abbreviation of the name Odile.

Eliot Fremont-Smith (of the New York Times) called its publishing "a significant event".

The sequel was Retour à Roissy[?].

Compare with: Venus in Furs

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