Gérard de Nerval was the nom-de-plume of the French writer, poet, and translator Gérard .. Ahearn, Edward J. “Visionary Insanity: Nerval’s Aurélia.” Visionary. Product Description. Aurelia & other writings by Gerard de Nerval Translated by Geoffrey Wagner, Robert Duncan and Marc Lowenthal ISBN X. Aurelia Nerval is on Facebook. Join Facebook to connect with Aurelia Nerval and others you may know. Facebook gives people the power to share and makes.
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Geoffrey Atheling Wagner Translator. Aurelia is French poet and novelist Gerard de Nerval’s account of his descent into madness–a condition provoked in part by his unrequited passion for an actress named Jenny Colon. 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 was posthumously noto Aurelia is French poet and novelist Gerard de Nerval’s account of his descent into madness–a condition provoked in part by his unrequited passion for an actress named Jenny Colon.
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 was posthumously notorious for his suicide inhanging from an apron string he called the garter of the Queen of Sheba.
Gérard de Nerval
This hallucinatory document of dreams, obsession and insanity has fascinated artists such as Joseph Cornell, who cited passages from it to explain his own work; Antonin Artaud, who saw his own madness mirrored by Nerval’s; and Andre Breton, who placed Nerval in the highest echelon of Surrealist heroes. Geoffrey Wagner’s translation of Aurelia was first published by Grove Press inbut has remained out of print for nearly 20 years.
Also included in this volume are previously untranslated stories by Marc Lowenthal, and poet Robert Duncan’s version of the sonnet cycle Chimerasmaking this the most complete collection of Nerval’s influential oeuvre ever published in English. Paperbackpages. Published February 2nd by Exact Change first published February 2nd To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Jun 06, Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing. I recognized familiar faces everywhere.
Aurelia : Gerard De Nerval :
The features of relatives whose deaths I had mourned were reproduced in the faces of other ancestors who, dressed in more ancient garb, greeted me with the same fatherly warmth.
All of a sudden a wondrous harmony echoed through our solitudes, and it seemed as if all the shrieks and roars and hissings of these elemental creatures were now joining in this divine chorus. May 14, Eddie Watkins rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: During this descent he is beseiged with visions, both waking and sleeping, of universal love and unity and universal desolation.
He is also beseiged by his own Catholic guilt for seriously dabbling in the occult for the purposes of figuring out these very visions. These conflicts entangled him in a significant psychic bind and landed nrval in an asylum, from which nfrval document seems to’ve been written. It begins with the famous dictum – “Our dreams are a second life,” and continues from there to elaborate in great detail the substance of this second life, giving much greater credence to this second life than waking life.
Gérard de Nerval: The Status of Dream in Aurélia – Oxford Scholarship
Through his trials and his meetings and “conversations” more like direct mind-to-mind transmissions with deceased friends and relatives and purely spiritual beings Nerval is convinced of the immortality of the soul, and this assurance of immortality is what saves him from total despairing madness. And so Aurelia ends on a positive note, though Nerval was not to survive long after the writing of it, hanging himself from a window grating in Poor Nerval, what a troubled and beautiful soul.
Thank you for descending to Hell for all of us! There are other stories, poems, and documents in this fantastic collection that I’m not reviewing, all of which are great or at least well worth reading esp.
View all 17 comments. 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.
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 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. 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 worlds becomes less and less defined.
Nerval is one of those people whose “other” world became his “real” world. And while it’s clear it ultimately gave him much pain he ended up taking his own lifeit leaves us with this beautifully ethereal book that takes us into his self-created alternate universe.
Written while institutionalized or shortly thereafter I’m not clear on thiswe get a look into a strange amalgam of other worlds that his mind takes him to. Some are beautiful and reassuring where he is reconnected with departed loved ones and taken to beautiful landscapes. Other times, he goes to places dark and terrifying and it’s clear he’s having doubts about the existence of a Christian heaven.
On a spiritual quest, he looks to not only the Christian God but Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods, as well as simply looking to the stars for some sign, any sign that there is something more.
He’ll take it wherever he can conjure it up. Escaping to these other worlds becomes a kind of addiction for him and he loses all interest in the “real” world.
The book begins with a seemingly realistic narrative about lost love and slowly bleeds into his imaginary world where it’s difficult to tell if he is relating true events or aureliia dreams.
Eventually it becomes irrelevant because you just feel privileged to have access to this mysterious man’s mind. Written in a dream-state, stream-of-consciousness style in the ‘s considerably ahead of his time, it’s obvious why he was so influential to the surrealists and other writers of the early 20th century such as Proust. In recovering what men call reason, do I have to regret the loss of these joys?
Who needs reason when you can read this book! View all 24 comments. Aug 14, Nate D rated it really liked it Shelves: As recommended by Rene Daumal, various Surrealists, and others. The title story is actually less fully dream-like than expected, but actually more a personal account of ones own descent into and intermittent recovery from insanity.
In that sense, it does fit in well with various Surrealist’s acounts of their own periods of delusion Unica Zurn’s The Man of Jasmine and Leonora Carrington’s Down Below are key examples of this genrewhile looking ahead to some of the oneiric accounts in fictions As recommended by Rene Daumal, various Surrealists, and others.
In that sense, it does fit in well with various Surrealist’s acounts of their own periods of delusion Unica Zurn’s The Man of Jasmine and Leonora Carrington’s Down Below are key examples of this genrewhile looking ahead to some of the oneiric accounts in fictions of the mid-century Anna Kavan’s Sleep Has His House or Doris Lessing’s somehow more dated s Briefing for a Descent Into Hell.
All of which company should suggest that I’d love this, but I didn’t find myself totally enthralled by its largely diaristic realism.
As a truthful record aureila its times, it is good, but for that, we have nedval other, sometimes even better stories, and essays here full of pastoral detail and historical sense of place.
Even Nerval’s interests tend to endear me to him, as he seems to wander about Paris and its environs in a proto-derive or flaneur fashion, dwells upon the losses of urban development, and obsesses about Isis and the customs surrounding her in antiquity. My concurrent reading of The Second Sex tends to color my readings of much else around it through it’s sheer force and monolithic density as it will for a while, give its near-endless dense pages.
In fact, de Beauvoir cites Nerval as belonging to the Bretonian tradition of gloryiging Women as the gateway natural wonder and inspiration, as one of the failed literary approaches to women, falling quite short of any authentic relationship. I’d say that Nerval actually fares a little better: He’s even acutely aware of the inherently problematic tendency to fall in love not with actual people but with his own images thereof. It’s clear, even amidst airelia more rhapsodic passages, that this is nervql loss and he knowns it, not any failing of the women who move through his life and depart on to their own.
So while Nerval may in some way illustrate the type of literary representation as de Beauvoir suggest, I was pleasantly surprised by the self-awareness by which he makes it rather more useful and interesting. View all arelia comments.
Sep 01, Chris rated it did not like it Recommends it for: I strongly caution anyone who treasures the precious little time they have on this beautiful, big, blue planet not to squander it reading the work of Gerard Labrunie inspired to use the name Nerval in homage to the estate of a wealthy ancestor.
This sounds li I strongly caution anyone who treasures the precious little time they have on this beautiful, big, blue planet not to squander it reading the work of Gerard Labrunie inspired to use the name Nerval in homage to the estate of a wealthy ancestor. This sounds like a drastic measure, but maybe one of these two scenarios will help you summon your inner strength: Nevermind the compelling sidenote that after botching the re-wiring of this primitive telecommunications device, his squad discovered they were somehow able to place calls to JUGS, sending the platoon into a downward spiral of lethargy and preposterous beat-off sessions previously unknown to the annals of Asian history.
It comes as no surprise to me that this edition was published by Exact Change. It also seems like they select their authors more on the grounds of ridiculous shit they gained notoriety for, rather than any actual talent for telling a decent story, highlighted by their tendency to preface each weak edition with a cute little narrative on just how uncouth the author was instead of mentioning anything which might have something to do with the actual book or any justification for publishing it, other than to perpetuate the fallacy that because some well-heeled cretin acting like a goddam nimrod has something to say there might be something of worth buried amidst the ramblings.
Such appear to be demanding criteria which Exact Change sets for the scribes of truly inspiring and timeless literature. Gerard Nerval somehow managed to squeeze a little writing into his hectic schedule of naked poetry readings and eating ice cream from a skull while on leave from psychiatric care.
Gérard de Nerval: The Status of Dream in Aurélia
In consideration for the other nekkid freaks at the clothing-optional beach where we decided to catch a few rays, I realized it would be a travesty to befoul the lake in negval manner.
The story is pretty simple; a turgid tale of unrequited and senseless infatuation nreval a stage-actress Aurelia on behalf of a maladjusted loser Nerval. Let us say rather that I dressed up with this idea the keenest remorse at a life spent in foolish dissipation, a life in which nerva had often triumphed, and whose errors I did not recognize until I felt the blows of misfortune.
The second half of the book manages to decrease in quality. Of course, it might not be coincidental that I also realized the book was drawing to a close at this point.
View all 5 comments. Dream is a aurelja life. What is it about?! The creation of new life! Deconstruction and manipulation of religious iconography for cove Dream is a second life. Deconstruction and manipulation of religious iconography nervxl covert purposes!
Obscure references to apocryphal texts! Transcendence from the corporeal world! The degree of autobiography contained within the text is irrelevant.
Suffice it to say that the man led a fascinating life, he really livedand he wrote a fascinating book into which he likely poured a lot of raw material from that life. From the moment I became certain that I was subject to sacred initiatory rights, an invincible force entered my spirit. I considered myself a living hero in the eyes of gods. Everything in nature took on new aspects, and secret voices emanated from plants, trees, animals, and nervl smallest insects, in order to warn me and encourage me.
The language of my ndrval held a mysterious refrain which only I was able to comprehend, objects without shape or life lent themselves to my mental calculations; — from combinations of pebbles, from the shape of corners, crevices or openings, from the patterns of leaves, from colors, odors, neravl sounds, I saw emerge harmonies which had hitherto remained unknown — how, I asked myself, have I been able to exist estranged from nature for so long, nervao identifying with her?
All things live, act, and relate to one another; magnetic rays emanating from myself or from others cross, without obstacle, the infinite chasm of all creation; these form a transparent network that covers the globe, and each separate thread communicates, one by one, to the stars and planets.
Momentarily captive upon the earth, I take part in the universal chorus, netval shares in all my joys and sorrows! Jul 30, Mitch rated it it was amazing. The ultimate poet’s poet, Nerval merges his dream world with the world we all share in these prose pieces, bringing about a kind of romantic apocalypse.
Gorgeous and harrowing at the same time, the delicate pubescent longing of Sylvie becomes the cosmic eschatological last one standing narrative of Aurelia.