Instead of the expected moody seduction piece suggested by the title Monsieur Cédric delivers a fast zipping instrumental from 1978, with a flute and lots of Joie de Pénétrer.
Talking of which, now that we’re about to be bored by the ads to the sequel to the Fifty Shades of Grey film and seeing the book it is based on in shop windows everywhere, it’s time to revisit a sequel that’s genuinely stirring. Recently out on Corgi Books is the part deux of Pauline Réage’s – real name Anne Desclos – erotic classic The Story of O. Called “a pornographic book without a trace of obscenity” by Graham Greene and “a deeply moral homily” by J.G.Ballard, the first novel is an intricate fable with alternative beginnings and endings and an alluring air of stylistic abstraction.
The follow-up is called Return to the Chateau, originally published in 1969 as Retour á Roissy. Shorter but just as elegantly perverse as The Story of O, Return to the Chateau is a must-read for anyone into quality underground fiction with a bite. Here O accepts to be taken back to the luxurious castle she was trained in, again to submit to the sexual whims of a well heeled cast of libertines, including Sir Stephen and the very cruel lesbian Anne-Marie from part one. “O was surprised at how happy she was to find herself once again ensconced in the tight-fitting black corset. She had obeyed and inhaled deeply when Anne-Marie had to her to, while Monique tightened the laces. The corset came up to beneath her breasts, which an unobtrusive vertical stay kept separated and a narrow horizontal stay supported so firmly that they were projected foward, and seemed all the more fragile and free.
“Your breasts are really made for the riding crop, O” Anne-Marie noted. “Do you realize that?” “I know, O said, “but please, I beg you…”
Anne-Marie burts out laughing.
“Oh don’t worry, I’m not the one who makes that kind of decision. But if any of the clients should want to whip you, you can protest and beg until you’re blue in the face.”
There was also a film version called Story of O part 2 that unfortunately had zero to do with either the book or Just Jaeckin’s wonderful film based on the first novel.