Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Irene” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.63  ·  Rating details ·  200 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
First published anonymously in France in 1928, Le Con d'Irene, is the last 'lost' masterpiece of Surrealist erotica. Likes Georges Bataille's Story of the Eye (published the same year), Irene's Cunt is an intensely poetic account, the story of a man's torment when he becomes fixated upon the genitalia of an imaginary woman and is reduced to voyeuristically scoping 'her' er ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published 1970 by Grove Press (first published 1928)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Vit Babenco
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The finest of all works touching on eroticism.” – Albert Camus
Presumably the character of Irene was inspired by Louis Aragón’s passion for Nancy Cunard who was his mistress at the time he wrote the novelette and whom, earlier, Aldous Huxley turned into Myra Viveash in his effervescent Antic Hay .
The tale is something between a recollection, reverie or daydream.
To sleep, to dream…
Already a fine sweat beads the flesh at the horizon of my desires. Already the canvas of the spasm appear in t
Milton Cubicle
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
its such a moving story about irene and her best friend, her c**t. Biten by a radioactive spider her c**t comes to life in this hillarious and tragic holocaust black comedy romantic drama.
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For years I tried to find out who this incredible writer was. My copy is under the name Albert de Routtisie, same translation.

Camus called it "The finest of all works touching on eroticism" but it's even more than that.

Some other reviewers gave the basics, a paraplegic man is used as captive audience by his wife and daughter who engage in a range of perversions with farm hands.

The real story is his increasing enjoyment of these supposed 'tortures', his growing sense that he holds the reigns of
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The French have a way with things we won't even talk about.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, l-francesa
Escrito como los dioses, con una furia y un ritmo de poesía que se lleva todo puesto. Te obliga a leer cada vez más rápido, y a detenerte en cada metáfora. No hay ni una página que no sea sublime. No exagero:

Cortina, suspiras como un seno.
Se diría la proximidad del amor. Cuando una inminente tormenta hace rodar ya en el oscuro escenario de las nubes sus poderosos hombros de luchador, cuando una tormenta pesa sobre una región oprimida donde el malestar se despereza en las casas aisladas que pre
θα μπορούσα να διαβάζω αραγκόν αιώνια ακόμα κι αν δεν είχε γράψει ούτε μία λέξη.
Angela Meyer
Beautiful and strange. Eroticism, obsession, imagination and the abyss. True to surrealism in its dream-states (it begins, 'Don't wake me, for God's sake...') and its depictions of flesh, from poetic admiration to the grotesque. And outside-inside, inside-out. In one part, an invalid's sex life lives only (but vividly and even gleefully) inside his head. Camus liked it. I did too.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: erotica
Don't remember this at all. No doubt I read it b/c it was porn written by a Surrealist. The back cover tells me that it's about a paralyzed old man who gets his sexual experience by watching other people have sex thru peepholes. The real translation of the original French title wd be "Irene's Cunt" but Grove probably cdn't get away w/ that at the time.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotic
It's just such a great title. Who cares about the content? Oh if you must. It's like this lost surrealist masterpiece by Aragon who was a tortured kind of guy. If only I had been around then. Modern guys are just so fucked up. Irene has apparently a nice c##t. Well so have I. Nobody ever wrote a book about it. Just about sums up why I left England.
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: naughty-classic
This came up as a recommendation from my ‘naughty classics’ list, written in 1928. It is a rather short novella by an early surrealist founder Louis Aragon (a once friend of Andre Breton). It is a strange mix of surrealism, art, autobiography and rather sexually explicit with little developed story – Albert Camus apparently liked the novella.

It appears to be a reflection of Aragon’s relationship with Nancy Cunard, a roaring Twenties English femme fatale. It is basically a foul mouthed but reada
Sesho Maru
Really the most shocking thing about this book was its title but the actual novel itself was pretty sedate. There's nothing in here much worse than Henry Miller and even though it's labeled as "Surrealist Erotica" on the back I didn't feel it was "surreal" at all. But maybe I'm looking at it through a 21st century POV instead of 1928, when this was published. Aragon was one of the founding members of Surrealism but that doesn't make this book surrealist. It was a decent short read, but pretty mu ...more
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the somewhat shocking title, this is a
compelling and brief novel of delicate and lyrical eroticism.
A similar theme of a man afflicted with paresis is in Hamsun's Hunger- who becomes a voyeur to his family . While it has a dreamy quality to it, I do not consider this a surrealistic story,
Mar 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frenchie
dear mr. aragon,

forgive me to write you a few lines.
paris peasant was so much fun.
and irene's c**t just wasn't.
to state it bluntly.

the french are famous for oh la la.
and you spoiled it.
why? if a girl let you down,
don't be angry! it's a game

so give it an other try.
My edition included "The Adventures of Jean-Fuck the Cock" (I may have liked it more than Irene's Cunt) and some very NSFW art by Andre Masson.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: كتب-عندى
معرفش العيب فيا أو فى الكتاب بس أنا مفهمتش أى حاجة خاااالص
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The introduction touted this as a sort of companion to Story of the Eye, but in reality it was less interesting. The story that was included in my edition at the back was more interesting, which features a 6 foot tall sentient penis wandering the streets of Paris.
Rihab Kiidmel
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un texte immense qui aurait été épuré par le temps. Tout ce qui est superflue, maladroit, redondant, agressif a été érodé, gommé. Seul l’essentiel demeure. J’aime les associations, insolites, inattendues, décalées..L'absence de verbes donne des idées, ouvre une porte. On se sent à la ligne de partage des eaux, on ne sait si le flot va s'orienter vers la mer mediterrannée ou vers l'atlantique. Il y a une certaine pleinitude dans le désespoir.. J'ai tout simplement adoré !
Pedro Ferreira
Este é daqueles títulos que li porque um amigo me recomendou, porque o título me cativou e porque há muito sentia curiosidade pelos movimentos surrealistas. Na minha opinião o livro começa bastante bem, vai-se tornando confuso e engraçado pelo meio, mas perde toda a piada quando o autor se começa a perder com descrições absurdas, confusas e bastante chatas.
Booky Mary
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai été captivée et fascinée par ma lecture au même titre que repoussée et dérangée à certains moments. Je suis arrivée à la fin avec une sensation de faim au vue de la brièveté du livre. Une narration incisive et inhabituel sur l'érotisme et l'amour que je vous recommande fortement :
Nick Ramsey
Mar 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this book, first, because it was really short and a nice diversion during the run-up to finals week and, second, because William T. Vollmann cited it as a major influence to his not-so-short book The Royal Family. Vollmann mentioned in an interview that he thought the book had some "pretty sentences." I think that is about all that can or should be said about it.
Leonardo Rodríguez
Nov 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Hasta en los momentos menos aventurados, "Le con d'Irène" me asombra. A la segunda vuelta y en versión original (con una little help del diccionario), se ferocidad poética me ha gustado todavía más. Bella y económica edición de Mercure de France. Sugestivo el breve prólogo de Sollers.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No conozco nada tan hermoso nada que me procure hasta ese extremo una sensaci��n de fuerza, como la vulva cuando se la alcanza por detr��s.
rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2016
rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2014
Jarret Middleton
rated it liked it
Nov 19, 2009
rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2016
Gil Averbuch
rated it liked it
Oct 28, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2011
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
rate 1 6 Apr 29, 2014 04:11AM  
  • The Magnetic Fields
  • Destruction of the Father/Reconstruction of the Father: Writings and Interviews, 1923–1997
  • Putain
  • Approximate Man and Other Writings
  • Capital of Pain
  • Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology, 1927-1984
  • Mount Analogue
  • Eden, Eden, Eden
  • The Supermale
  • The Image
  • Blue of Noon
  • My Body and I
  • The Temptation of Innocence - Living in the Age of Entitlement
  • Downstream
  • 4 Dada Suicides: Selected Texts of Arthur Cravan, Jacques Rigaut, Julien Torma, and Jacques Vaché
  • The Angels of Perversity
  • Dark Spring
  • Death Sentence
Poet, novelist, and essayist, a founder of Surrealism with Paul Éluard, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, and others. Aragón's work reflects the principal trends of thought of the 20th century – he was also a political activist and spokesman for communism. His influence on the theory of the novel and on poetic theory was considerable.
More about Louis Aragon...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“And when she’s alone again, as truly alone in the world as she’s always felt herself to be, she looks at herself in a bamboo-framed mirror. Beautiful face, aglow with the taste of carnal pleasure, disdainful and avid … and above all an indefinable look in which can be sensed unspecified danger, sensuality triumphant and a sort of intoxicating vulgarity. She likes what she sees … around her drifts a great brunette fragrance, scent of happy brunette, in which the idea of others dissolves.” 17 likes
More quotes…