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Les nouvelles de [ Add to my virtual collection. Very rare first edition of which has not been derived great papers, our model is the first draw, and without mention in the right publisher, Giraud and Dagneau. Bound in black half morocco, spine with five nerves decorated with nets cold date tail dishes marbled papers, guards and contreplats of handmade paper, blankets dirty maintained, all edges gilt, binding signed Thomas Boichot.

Foxing as usual. Les Filles du feu is a collection of seven short stories and twelve sonnets.

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The stories are wild and weird and the sonnets are sublime. Their settings are split between the Valois in France and the Naples area of Italy, and each story is named after a woman — so that when I started reading this I wondered if it would be similar to Barbey d'Aurevilly's Les Diaboliques , which is also a collection of short stories about femmes fatales.

But the mood here is utterly different. There is never only one of them: always some doubling of love interest, a blonde and a brunette, an innocent friend and a worldly seductress, a town girl and a country wench; but at the same time a very strong impression that they are all just the same single person, refracted into different characters. They were two halves of a single love. One was the sublime ideal, the other the sweet reality.

I mean it does genuinely feel like something pathological rather than a literary device. It's only nine pages long, but it involves no fewer than four different women, several time periods, and a handful of different countries, all of which seem to shift and fade into each other. When it works, though, it's very very moving.

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But going home brings him back in contact with his childhood sweetheart Sylvie , as well as reawakening memories of a third woman Adrienne whom he glimpsed once at a childhood fair and has never forgotten. It's not easy to explain why this feverish paean to unrequited love is so moving, except that there's something about the way time and place and person keep shifting here that perfectly matches the way your mind works when you're lying awake at three in the morning thinking about stuff like this.

A lot of the pleasure also has to do with the very beautiful descriptive passages — I particularly loved the long scene where the narrator remembers visiting Sylvie's aunt's house with her and playing dress-up in her old clothes: And Sylvie had already unfastened her calico dress and let it fall to her feet. The old aunt's dress fitted perfectly around Sylvie's slim waist; she told me to do her up.

And yet the sleeves, decorated with lace, showed off her bare arms admirably, her neckline framed by the high bodice with yellowing tulle and faded ribbons that had only barely tightened around the vanished charms of her aunt. Don't know you how to fasten a dress? Have a look at this and imagine what a jolt it is for a reader to suddenly reach this story after two hundred pages of dreamy French symbolism: It so happened that a little while later, one fine December evening, Toffel saddled his dapple-gray stallion and, at a steady trot, climbed the winding paths that still today lead from Toffelsville to the high country, across the Ohio mountains.

What the—?! Could there be anything less Nervalian than this Old West anecdote about settlers in Ohio?! She doesn't take any shit. When she's kidnapped by Indians, she escapes and travels for twenty days on her own to get back to civilisation, fighting off bears and living on papaw and wild chestnuts. It is the strangest feeling in the world to read this gruff piece of obscure Americana in a book by a French Romantic poet, and I am very grateful for the experience. There is something very unsettling about this whole collection — a feeling that you are in the mind of someone who is losing their grip on reality.

The poems which close the book are untranslateable and incomprehensible. I loved them. I am shadowed, and widowed, and unconsoled — the Aquitainian Prince in his Ruined Tower. My lone star is dead, and my spangled lute bears the Black Sun of Melancholy. I recommend checking them out, and I recommend taking a good brisk walk in the sunshine afterwards. April View all 20 comments. No final, uma pequena maldade de Silvia Feb 29, Pierre E.

Adrienne, extrait des Filles du feu, Gérard de Nerval

Free download available at Project Gutenberg. View all 4 comments. Lisbon Book-Fair Gerard de Nerval real name Gerard Labrunie, was one of the early French Romantic authors; he became mentally ill and was in and out of institutions; the stories in this book were written in between stays, shortly before he committed suicide or was killed by robbers, according to some of his friends.

Les filles du feu

This book consists of a preface in the form of a rather bizarre letter to Alexandre Dumas, five short stories, two essays, and a one act play, completed by a short appendix of poems Gerard de Nerval real name Gerard Labrunie, was one of the early French Romantic authors; he became mentally ill and was in and out of institutions; the stories in this book were written in between stays, shortly before he committed suicide or was killed by robbers, according to some of his friends. The previous December, Dumas had published an essay attributing Nerval's mental crises to an excess of creative imagination, an exaggerated emotional identification with the historic figures he wrote about.

In his introduction to the volume, Nerval elaborates on Dumas' analysis, describing how their old friend Charles Nodier once claimed he had been guillotined during the French Revolution. He discusses how writers and actors identify with their subjects. He also hints at a future volume describing his crises.

Much admired by Marcel Proust for its poetic vision, Sylvie is a semi-autobiographical tale of a man who is haunted by the memory of three women in his life, all of whom seem to blend together. He is suddenly reminded of a memory from childhood, and he experiences a flashback. Adrienne ultimately becomes a nun. As Adrienne is unobtainable, he returns to Sylvie several years later and spends many days with her. As they pass by a monastery , the narrator mentions Adrienne, much to Sylvie's dismay.

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He returns to Paris. The narrator returns, and Sylvie and he spend a day socializing at an elderly relative's home. However, nothing results from this, and the narrator leaves again. They become friendly, and the narrator asks her if she ever spent time in a convent, associating her with Adrienne. When he asks about Adrienne, Sylvie reveals that she has been dead many years. A short essay that is appended to Sylvie wherever it is published, it does not constitute a separate section of Les Filles du Feu in itself.

The essay describes some folk songs of the province of Valois where Nerval had grown up and where Sylvie is set, and it includes a short folk tale, La Reine des Poissons The Queen of the Fishes. A translation, reconstruction and adaptation of a story by Charles Sealsfield , pseudonym of Austrian author Karl Postl , this tale of Jemmy O'Dogherty's adventures among the native Americans.

The story begins in Paris. The narrator, wishing to escape the haunting memory of an "ill-starred love", decides to travel to Italy, stopping first in Marseille for a few days. Every day, when he goes swimming in the bay, he sees a mysterious English woman named Octavia.

follow site Blonde, pale, and slender, she is so at home in the water, she could be a mermaid. The narrator's suspicions increase when one day she catches a fish with her bare hands and shows it to him.

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The town has been hit by cholera, so the narrator decides to continue his journey by land in order to circumvent the quarantine. As he is waiting in Civitavecchia for the steamboat to arrive, he spots Octavia at the local theater.

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She is sick, the narrator learns, and her doctors had recommended she travel to Naples to regain her strength.