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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Throughout his life, the poet and writer Gerard de Nerval (1808-1855) struggled with bouts of madness, and ended his life wandering homeless on the streets of Paris until he was found hanging from a sewer grating, an apparent suicide. As one of the most individualistic of the colorful French Romantics, the details of Nerval's life have passsd into legend, as writers and co...more
Paperback, 94 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Livre de Poche (first published 1855)
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Nov 18, 2009 Kimley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Proust fans, dreamers, escapists, the mentally unstable
I suspect that most of us have some kind of reality escape hatch that removes us from the inevitable difficulties both large and small of everyday existence. Whether it's religion, drugs/alcohol, reading too many books (!!!), there's another world outside the one we experience with our five senses that most of us look to in order to survive this one. The majority of us can delineate between the "real" world and the "other" world we imagine but there are those for whom the line between these worl...more
Branden William
As a member of the eccentric Bouzingo group in France, in the 1830s, Gérard de Nerval was eventually praised by André Breton as a "prophet" of Surrealism for Nerval's pursuit of the significance of dreams, and for his "persistent vitality of an esoteric conception of the world." Nerval's 'Aurélia & Other Writings' is a beautiful collection of Nerval's most coveted short stories, including the novella 'Sylvie', which is often considered Nerval's prose masterpiece. These stories encapsulate a...more
Mariana Orantes
Cada vez que le doy un rating a un libro en este lugar, me decepciono. ¿Cómo alguien puede darle menos de cinco estrellas a esta maravilla? lo mismo me pasó con El maestro y margarita de Bulgakov, de verdad que no los entiendo. Se me rompe el corazón cuando leo las malas reseñas que hacen sobre este libro tan hermoso. No lo entiendo. Nerval tenía una sensibilidad inmensa, una forma de narrar tan precisa y sencilla y no por eso menos compleja; tan sencillo y natural en contraste con las cosas tan...more
Jul 24, 2008 Travis is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The ravings of a madman? A cleverly constructed artifice? Both in different places? Nerval really did spend his adult life in and out of asylums, but he was also friends with lots of the biggest and best artists, writers, etc. in Paris in the 1840s and 50s.

Aurelia is about the "outpouring of the dream world into real life." Maddened by unrequited love for Aurelia, who at various points converges with the Virgin Mary, Cybele, Isis, etc. and is based on the real-life Marie Pleyel, Nerval passes i...more
Mystical and febrile novella, reminiscent of a William Blake print.
This, along with the writings of Unica Zurn, is true Surrealism.
J. Lynn
I loved it even before I realized it was a 90 page struggle against castration.
Aurelia is the name Gerard de Nerval gives his muse, an unattainable love, likely based on a real actress he knew, who more or less provides the framing device for this memoir about going insane and the blurring of dream and reality. The memoir begins by quickly recounting his initial pursuit and loss of Aurelia and the later meeting with her that leads him to lose his grip on what is real and what is not. What follows is a description of what life was like for him as he was trying to navigate t...more
Antoine C
Sous couvert d'opiomanie, Gérard de Nerval se permet d'extérioriser ses pensées absurdes justifiées par le rêve.
Un beau galimatias sans aucun sens. Le lecture affirmé répondra alors "Mais c'est ce que voulait faire de Nerval, exprimer d'une forme la plus naturelle possible l'épanchement du sommeil sur la réalité". Il n'y a alors aucun intérêt à partager ses visions si celles-ci ne sont qu'absurdes.
Alberto D.
The books contains "Aurelia", "Sylvie", and extracts from "Travels in the East", "Les Illuminés", and "Promenades et Souvenirs". Translated by Richard Aldington, whose introduction to Aurelia and De Nerval is excellent. With the exception of Aurelia, this book is a waste of time. Aldington mentions that De nerval belonged to a group patronized by Theophile Gautier, no doubt a bad pupil whose most interesting detail is his wretched life, and death. When you read Aurelia think that you are reading...more
Une œuvre étrange baignée de folie, où le rêve est bien souvent cauchemar et où ce que l'on poursuit s'estompe de plus en plus jusqu'à disparaitre. Très personnel et peut-être un peu gênant, ce texte aux multiples références étonne et surprend à chaque page. Réalité et fantasme s'entremêlent pour un délire final tout à fait remarquable. Une écriture cathartique de la part d'un esprit en mal de repères. Je ne peux que me répéter : étrange et surprenant.
This is Nerval's most famous work, and it is easy to see why. The imagery is stunning, the scope is both enormous and microscopic, and the introspection is intense. I had difficulty staying invested, though, possibly because of the story's audacity. I am glad I read this story and have immense respect for it, but I enjoyed the understated Sylvie more.
Julia Boechat Machado
Lindo de forma quase enlouquecedora. Uma descida ao inferno, à mente humana, ao hospício, às visões. Nerval é um visionário.
L'épanchement du songe dans la vie réelle.
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  • Enfance
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Gérard de Nerval was the nom-de-plume of the French poet, essayist and translator Gérard Labrunie, one of the most essentially Romantic French poets.
More about Gérard de Nerval...
Aurélia and Other Writings Sylvie Selected Writings Les Filles du feu - Les Chimères Les Chimères

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“l'imagination m'apportait des délices infinies. En recouvrant ce que les hommes appellent la raison, faudra-t-il regretter de les avoir perdues...?

My imagination gave me infinite delight. In recovering what men call reason, do I have to regret the loss of these joys?...”
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