Page 6, 21st December 1973

21st December 1973
Page 6
Page 6, 21st December 1973 — Inner visions that led to death

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Inner visions that led to death

The Disinherited: The Life or Gerard de Nerval by Benn Sowerby (Peter Owen £3.50)

This is the first biography in English of the French writer Gerard de Nerval, who lived in the first half of the nineteenth century. Written not as a critical study but as a mixture of descriptive, chronological style the biographer seems to take on a main characteristic of the writer he is describing a somewhat mystic and misty approach.

upbringing in the French coiintdgide, his relationships with his father, his perpetual Bohemian existence ot increasing poverty, his ability to summon up money in order to travel, and his writings in which he became increasingly obsessed with an impossible feminine ideal.

Eventually his instability leads him to suicide unable to manage the contrast between his inner visions and his bodily squalor. But the author. in brief allusions, does manage to show the relationship between his subject and the later Symbolist and Surrealist schools.

Foster Murphy

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