Gérard de Nerval: La Métaphore magique

For Nerval, the inner world of dreams reflects the outer world of the spirits hidden behind the apparent, contingent reality perceived by the senses. As an attempt to substitute the dream for the perceptible reality the metaphor sanctions a failure, but this failure is a success once one realizes that for Nerval reality originates in the image and is for that very reason "impossible." The resurrection of the image is the sign of the resurrection of an inchoative "I" that experiences its continuity through repetition. This aspect of the nervalian vision of the world is studied through two metaphors: the meal (Sylvie, Le Voyage en Orient) and the portrait (Le Portrait du diable). (In French) (M-FEB)

Baer, Marie-France Etienne
Volume 1982-1983 Fall-Winter; 11(1-2): 96-105.