According to Slate, NBM’s Eurotica line just re-released Guido Crepax’s graphic novel adaptation of Pauline Reage’s The Story of O.
The article gives a quick overview of the books semi-mythological history, and looks at it from a feminist point of view, as an expression of woman’s need for passion and transcendance; in effect, vindicating masochism as a spiritual or mystical experience.
In describing the place where violence and tenderness, pleasure and pain, love and brutality all meet, she’s not describing an eccentric fetish culture, but a universal desire.
I’m slightly annoyed that in praising O, the author is taking it away from the people who loved it first and best. I believe that kinky people are not just an “eccentric fetish culture”, but a distilled form of some of the strongest themes and traditions in Western civilization.
The article insists that “…there’s something more than pornography going on here…” I say that is a false dichotomy. The Story of O is Art and Porn, and proof that those categories are not mutually exclusive.