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Journey to the Orient

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  8 reviews
More than just an account of his travels in Cairo, Beirut, and Constantinople in 1842, Gérard de Nerval’s Journey to the Orient is a quest for the unknown. If his narrator seems credulous in his retelling of legends of the origins of the pyramids and the mysteries of the Druzes, it is with this purpose in mind. While the Orientalists of his day were confident of having, in ...more
Paperback, 482 pages
Published 2013 by Antipodes (first published 1851)
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Jul 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, exquisite Orientalism that will delight or offend, depending on the reader's tastes. Nerval indulges in exoticism, perhaps at the expense of truth and certainly at the expense of political correctness. Saturated in hashish fumes, the sweat of slave-girls, and Freemasonic mythology, Nerval's is an Orient of the mind and heart, a fever-dream of sorts. Read it for extended poetic reveries and provocative story-telling.
Aug 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nerval's account of the 'orient' is told through such a dreamy haze of ideas that smokey become the boundaries between his recounting of fantastic tales and his own tale of a journey.

The world of story and Nerval's world may be very one and the same place, for his days spent in the Orient are full of owning slaves, smoking hashish and listening to storytellers for the length of entire days. Thus the richness of observation with which a travel biography would otherwise record the details of
Paul Cowdell
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Norman Glass deserves a particular credit here. His selection of material from the very long travelogue has shaped and highlighted the essence of de Nerval's shimmering vision.
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: verona-library
(Aurelia) (nota 246)

Desireless - Voyage voyage

Nerval va a zonzo nel Medio Oriente e ci racconta il suo viaggio che, a dire il vero, mi aspettavo con descrizioni piu’ ricche di immagini (immaginifico?).

Le descrizioni piu’ belle sono i travisamenti della realta’ dei luoghi del viaggio mediati attraverso la memoria di libri letti da Nerval su quei luoghi.
Rincorrendo Proust: vale
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first third of the book was intriguing! But when de Nerval got into the hashish dreams, it lost its appeal for me.
Dec 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Afghanistan book whetted (whet?) my appetite for travelogue so I'm going back to Nerval. I'll send you a postcard!
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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.