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Gérard de Nerval (1808 – 1855)

Lifespan: 1808 - 1855

Related: French literature - fantastic literature

Nerval by Nadar

Aurelia (1855) - Gérard De Nerval [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Aurélia is a document of dreams, obsession, and insanity. An account of Nerval’s unrequited passion for an actress and subsequent descent into madness, this book was a favorite of artist Joseph Cornell’s, and its author was championed by both Marcel Proust and André Breton. One of the original self-styled "bohemians," Nerval was best known in his own day for parading a lobster on a pale blue ribbon through the gardens of the Palais-Royal, and for his suicide in 1855, hanging from an apron string he called the garter of the Queen of Sheba. Geoffrey Wagner’s translation of Aurélia was first published by Grove Press in 1959, but has remained out of print for nearly twenty years. Included are previously untranslated stories, and poet Robert Duncan’s version of the sonnet cycle "Chimeras"— making this the most complete collection of Nerval ever published in English. --from the publisher


Gérard de Nerval (May 22, 1808 – January 26, 1855) was the nom-de-plume of the French poet, essayist and translator Gérard Labrunie, the most essentially Romantic among French poets.

Aurélie (1855), Gérard de Nerval's fantasy-ridden interior autobiography— "Our dreams are a second life," he wrote— which influenced the Surrealists.

The influence of de Nerval's insistence on the significance of dreams on the Surrealist movement was fully emphasised by André Breton. The writers Marcel Proust and René Daumal were also greatly influenced by de Nerval's work, as was Artaud. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9rard_de_Nerval [Jun 2006]

Aurelia (1855) - Gerard de Nerval

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Aurelia (1855) - Gerard De Nerval [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description

"Nerval possessed to a tee the spirit with which we claim a kinship." — André Breton, Manifesto of Surrealism

"Each time I re-read Aurélia, a new shock of certainty in the pit of my stomach opens the eye to my heart: so I was observed! I was not alone in this world!" — René Daumal

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