Selected Writings, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Poet, visionary, short-story writer and autobiographer, Gerard de Nerval (1808-1855) explored the uncertain borderlines between dream and reality, irony and madness, autobiography and fiction with his groundbreaking writings.

This comprehensive selection of his works includes 'Aurelia', the memoir of his madness; the haunting novella of love and memory 'Sylvie' (considered to be a masterpiece by Proust); the hermetic sonnets of 'The Chimeras'; as well as Nerval's experimental fictions and selections from his correspondence, which demonstrate his lucid awareness of how nineteenth-century psychiatry consigned his fertile imagination to the status of mental illness.

Together these pieces confirm Nerval's place as a pioneering modernist, a precursor of the French Symbolists and a vital model for such writers as Marcel Proust, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud and Michel Leiris.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary essays
  • ISBN: 9780140446012

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

The myth of Nerval: eccentric, careless, tortured. Reading the writing of this eccentric, you walk away dazed by the multi-dimensional, jeweled imagination he carried within him. The themes of Nerval’s stories are typical: desired love, lost love, phantasmagoric worlds and exotic places. However, you sense one who has wandered so far away that there can be no returning. Nerval pursues his dreamt muse who forever eludes her capture into words.

Review by

I knew this would break my heart, and I dove in anyway.