This selection of writings—the first such comprehensive gathering to appear in English—provides an overview of Nerval's work as a poet, belle-lettrist, short-story writer and autobiographer. In addition to "Aurélia", the memoir of his madness, "Sylvie" (considered a 'masterpiece' by Proust), and the hermetic sonnets of "The Chimeras", this volume includes Nerval's Doppelgänger tales and experimental fictions. Selections from his correspondence demonstrate a lucid awareness of the strategies by which nineteenth-century psychiatry consigned his visionary imagination to the purgatory of mental illness. Selected Writings confirms Nerval's place as a precursor of the French Symbolists and as a vital model for such twentieth-century writers as Marcel Proust, André Breton, Antonin Artaud, and Michel Leiris.
Literature-Fiction, History-Criticism, Criticism-Theory,