June 19, 2008

Stories of O : Réage /Crepax

Story of O, written under the pseudonym of Pauline Réage, is published in 1954 thanks to the will of Jean-Jacques Pauvert who buys the rights of this sulfurous novel in which a woman, wilingly becomes a sexual slave. Pauvert entrusts the redaction of the preface to Jean Paulhan, the first recipient of the story, and restricts the release to 600 copies. The first twenty copies on Arches paper has an original engraving by Hans Bellmer, surrealist whose work on eroticism, animated and inanimated bodies resonate with the theme of this "destruction in joy" to borrow the words of Pauline Réage .

In 1975, Guido Crepax grabs this cult novel and adapts the full text in comic books. Published to 900 copies, the book includes a double preface : by Roland Barthes and Alain Robbe-Grillet who highlights the subtleties of the two versions:
"While Pauline Réage had taken care to give us her heroine with barely perceptible signs of usury or small physical faints (all these well known "humain" details that separate Greek marble of its model) here, breasts are a bit too heavy or features, already marked by light weariness that makes it more poignant, are suddenly replaced by strong black lines without the slightest mistake, the slightest tremor, lines which delineate areas of flesh with an abstract perfection, without past, without possible lassitude, forever smooth and firm. "

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Réage (Pauline). Histoire d’O. With a preface by Jean Paulhan. Paris, Sceaux, J.J. Pauvert, 1954, in-12. First edition limited to 600 copies. This one on laid paper with the engraving of Hans Bellmer, theoretically reserved to the 20 first copies on Arches paper.
  • Crepax (Guido) – Réage (Pauline). L’Histoire d’O by Guido Crepax. Introduction by Roland Barthes and Alain Robbe-Grillet. Genève/Milan, Taousinc et Franco Maria Ricci, 1975, in-folio, binding in black silk with a gold O on the cover. First illustrated edition limited to 900 copies on laid paper numbered and signed by Guido Crepax.