Gérard de Nerval

Poet, storyteller, autobiographer, translator, and visionary, Gérard de Nerval (1808–55) explored the blurry boundaries between dream and reality, fact and fiction, imagination and madness in his groundbreaking writings. Nerval was a pioneering modernist, a precursor of the French Symbolists, and a vital influence on writers such as Marcel Proust, André Breton, and Antonin Artaud. His works include Voyage en Orient (Journey to the Orient), Sylvie – which Umberto Eco deemed a “masterpiece" – Les Filles du Feu (The Daughters of Fire), Les Illuminés (The Illuminati), and Aurélia – which opens with “Dream is a second life.”

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