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The Stelliferous FoldToward a Virtual Law of Literature's Self-Formation$
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Rodolphe Gasché

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234349

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234349.001.0001

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Celestial Stars/Water Stars: Gérard de Nerval's Sylvie

Celestial Stars/Water Stars: Gérard de Nerval's Sylvie

(p.87) Chapter 4: Celestial Stars/Water Stars: Gérard de Nerval's Sylvie
The Stelliferous Fold

Rodolphe Gasché

Fordham University Press

The chapter examines Gérard de Nerval's novella Sylvie. It argues that the attention paid to the literary work's self-reflection and staged self-writing is not just one of the accomplishments of romanticism, since this discovery also comes with a price. By linking writing exclusively to this reflexive self-weaving of texts, romanticism, indeed, also amounts to a powerful attempt to master writing, limiting its straying and errancy, by circumscribing the text's structure of referral primarily as one of self-referral. Sylvie, indeed, proves to be a mixture of old and new, of real and representation, of autobiography and fiction, of Christianity and paganism, of folk poetry and philosophy, of lyricism and drama, and so on. In trying to analyze such a mixture, this chapter aims to pinpoint that which hinders this mixture from being a true synthesis of each of the elements combined in this chemical mixture.

Keywords:   Gérard de Nerval, Sylvie, self-reflection, self-writing, romanticism, self-weaving

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