"If we avow that the senses' joy is always dependent upon the imagination, always regulated by the imagination,
one must not be amazed by the numerous variations the imagination is apt to suggest during the pleasurable episode,
by the infinite multitude of different tastes and passions the imagination's various extravagances will bring to light.
However luxurious these tastes, they ought not appear more remarkable than those of an ordinary species; there
is no reason to find a meal-time eccentricity less extraordinary than a bedroom whim...Three quarters of the
universe may find the rose's scent delicious without that serving either as evidence upon which to condemn
the remaining quarter which might find the smell offensive, or as proof that this odor is truly agreeable."
- de Sade



... for you, another webpage for Story of O. co. uk





The Image - Special Edition DVD- 2002

From highly acclaimed director Radley Metzger, THE IMAGE (aka THE PUNISHMENT OF ANNE) is a fascinating study of the sadomasochistic relationship between a young girl and an older woman. Based on the classic novel "L'IMAGE" from Jean De Berg, this sexual masterpiece is hailed by critics as one of the best erotic films ever made. Beautifully photographed and loaded with highly charged sexual imagery and provocative situations, THE IMAGE is a cinematic masterpiece that brings the darker side of your deepest erotic fantasies to life.
Restored directly from the original 35mm camera negatives, this DVD of THE IMAGE is the definitive release of this erotic cinema classic. Presented uncut and uncensored for the first time on home video, THE IMAGE is a powerful, erotic film that will definitely be one of the most talked about and controversial DVD releases of the year!


Brand New Anamorphic (1.78:1) Digital Transfer.
Uncut, Uncensored English Language Version
New Stereo Surround 2.0 Soundtrack
Original Mono Soundtrack
Isolated Music Score
Liner Notes
Theatrical Trailers

Buy The Image on dvd now...
$ (direct link to Amazon.com) $



Based on the novel by:

Catherine Robbe-Grillet: L'Image (The Image) (1956)

Written under the pseudonym Jean de Berg.
Purchase: L'Image by Jean de Berg (UK £)
The Image by Jean de Berg (US$)

Behind the de Berg mask Catherine Robbe-Grillet.

The Image by Jean de Berg

Publisher: Nexus

Media: Book

Reviewer: Pan


It's fitting that Nexus should chose to launch their new 'Nexus Classics' imprint with what is very clearly a modern erotic classic. Unlike many of the other books in the series ­ such as Maria del Rey's 'The Institute' and Aran Ashe's 'Choosing Lovers for Justine' ­ 'The Image', by Jean de Berg, is not a home-grown Nexus classic at all. Like that other classic of modern SM fiction 'The Story of O', 'The Image' was first published by Olympia Press in Paris in the '60's. The pseudonymous author has never been officially recognised, though most critics agree that it was probably penned by Catherine Robbe-Grillet, though whether Dominique Aury, (who penned 'The Story of O' as Pauline Reage), actually wrote the introduction to 'The Image' (included in Nexus edition as well) is open to dispute.

While 'The Image' is less well known than 'O', the two books stand side by side in terms of literary and artistic merit. It's no surprise that Susan Sontag picked both books as rare examples of porn novels which are also 'literature'. And, quite learly, 'The Image' is a work of pornography ­ the language, the focus, the intensity all mark it out as porn first and art later.

The story revolves around the relationship between the male 'author'\narrator Jean and two women ­ the distant and enigmatic Claire and her younger, submissive partner Anne. Jean is drawn into the relationship between the women, first as an observer and then as an active participant in Claire's domination of Anne. However all is not as it appears and the end of the story manages to be at once surprising and yet obvious as the logical conclusion of the three-way relationship.

This is a book that stands head and shoulders above most porn writing ­ and it certainly deserves the recognition that the 'Story of O' has achieved. It's also an auspicious start to the new Nexus series, which look like they are going to be required reading for literate perverts everywhere.


The Image by Jean de Berg

Grove Press 1966

Original French publication by Les Editions de Minuit 1956


According to John de St Jorre in his book Venus Bound: The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press and Its Writers (Random House 1994) Catherine Robbe-Grillet, wife of the French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet, was the author of this short novel about a D/s relationship between two women and the man who enters as a third member and also narrates the story.

Dominique Aury, the woman behind the Pauline Réage pseudonym for Story of O says that Catherine was "a lovely creature, Nabokov [the author of Lolita and many less scandalous novels] fell in love with her." There is even some speculation that Catherine is the translator "Sabine d'Estrée" who translated Aury's Story of O to English. This is who Aury believes may be behind the d'Estrée pseudonym but others think differently.

The dedication page to The Image states "For Pauline Réage" and there is a preface signed by "P.R." suggesting Réage may have written that, but the actual author of this was Catherine's husband Alain. The preface is interesting in that it proposes that women are always in control. "Even chained, down on her knees, begging for mercy, it is the woman, finally, who is in command."

The narrator Jean is at a party and sees a friend Claire who he hasn't seen in two or three years. He also sees a lovely young woman in a white dress who he is attracted to and soon learns is Claire's friend, Anne. In fact, he learns more. Claire tells him when offering to introduce Anne to him that "she belongs to me" and soon thereafter, when the three of them are together, tells him "you can touch her if you like."


Stefan writes: We all have our own stories to tell, particularly how we came across L'Image in this or that bookstore or how we discovered its true author to be Catherine Robbe-Grillet, wife of the French writer and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet. Here is an extract from John Leo's website (see Links) which explains all.. or so it appears...

Originally published by Les Editions de Minuit. English translation published in the US by Grove Press in 1967; it is now out of print.
Apparently another English version has been published in the UK by Nexus in 1995. The title is The Image and Other Classic French Stories of Submission, and the authors are listed as Jean de Berg along with Juan Muntaner.

Alain wrote the preface, under the pseudonym "P.R.", identified incorrectly in the Grove Press edition as Pauline Réage, the author of Story of O (to whom this novel is dedicated). See my story for more information:

"I went back to San Francisco Saturday, 8/27, and looked for the two books by de Berg, with absolutely no luck. I did find some information from the European bookstore there, though. They had the French equivalent of Books in Print and from it I learned that there were exactly two books by de Berg, the ones I knew of. And apparently the Minuit version of L'Image was available, as well as a cheaper J'ai Lu one. So if I couldn't find them in English I could at least still buy the originals, apparently, although they were expensive. Of course this was additional motiviation to learn French as well.

That night I happened for some reason to be looking through Angélique ou l'enchantement (1988), the second volume of R-G's imaginary autobiography and still untranslated into English; this book had become, once its predecessor was translated, my single main reason for learning French. Since there was little hope of figuring out the main text I was skimming through the sort of "table of contents" or "synopsis" in the back, to see what I could make out of that. And what should I happen upon but a mention of L'Image!

I quickly turn to that passage in the main text, and even with my poor French can basically figure out what he's saying. Suddenly, with one incredible piece of luck, all my questions are answered! I'm still working on a decent translation of the text, which I'll write up seperately. It should be read at this point if possible. Otherwise, here's a quick summary. Catherine, shortly before their marriage, writes L'Image, influenced partly by their own sexual tastes and partly by Histoire d'O, and she dedicates it to Pauline Reage. Alain, for his part, decides to write a preface, which he signs Pauline Reage (!). Editions de Minuit is to publish it, and the head of that company, Jerome Lindon, happens to bowl with Jean Paulhan every Sunday morning. During one of these meetings, he happens to mention that Reage has written a preface to a book they'll publish...Paulhan is unable to hide his surprise! (Reage of course being his mistress--unknown to Lindon?) He asks to see the manuscript; he'll determine whether or not it's authentic.

He returns his verdict: while the book itself is quite good, the preface is idiotic and could only have been written by a mediocre imposter! Despite this, R-G and Lindon decide to keep the preface, but change the authorship to the more ambiguous "P.R." However, when foreign editions such as the Grove one come out, they ignore this and reconstruct the original name of Pauline Reage. He then goes on to describe the book being censored, and so forth.

So now I knew Catherine had in fact written the book, and Alain the preface!"


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