Quotations From GÉRARD DE NERVAL

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  • 1.
    The only refuge left to us was the poet's ivory tower, which we climbed, ever higher, to isolate ourselves from the mob.
    Gérard De Nerval (1808-1855), French poet, author. repr. In Les Filles du Feu (1854). the narrator, in Sylvie, ch. 1, Revue des Deux Mondes (Paris, Aug. 15, 1853). Thought to be the earliest source for the expression ivory tower.
  • 2.
    Every flower is a soul blossoming in Nature.
    Gérard De Nerval (1808-1855), French novelist, poet. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. and trans. by Geoffrey Wagner (1958). Vers Dorés, L'Artiste (Paris, March 16, 1845) under the title "Pensée Antique."

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  • 3.
    Our dreams are a second life. I have never been able to penetrate without a shudder those ivory or horned gates which separate us from the invisible world.
    Gérard De Nerval (1808-1855), French novelist, poet. Aurélia, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1855).

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  • 4.
    The first moments of sleep are an image of death; a hazy torpor grips our thoughts and it becomes impossible for us to determine the exact instant when the "I," under another form, continues the task of existence.
    Gérard De Nerval (1808-1855), French novelist, poet. Aurélia, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1855).

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  • 5.
    When the soul drifts uncertainly between life and the dream, between the mind's disorder and the return to cool reflection, it is in religious thought that we should seek consolation.
    Gérard De Nerval (1808-1855), French novelist, poet. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. and trans. by Geoffrey Wagner (1958). Aurélia, pt. 2, ch. 1 (1855).

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  • 6.
    It has been rightly said that nothing is unimportant, nothing powerless in the universe; a single atom can dissolve everything, and save everything! What terror! There lies the eternal distinction between good and evil.
    Gérard De Nerval (1808-1855), French novelist, poet. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. and trans. by Geoffrey Wagner (1958). Aurélia, pt. 2, ch. 6 (1855).

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  • 7.
    "The tree of knowledge is not the tree of life!" And yet can we cast out of our spirits all the good or evil poured into them by so many learned generations? Ignorance cannot be learned.
    Gérard De Nerval (1808-1855), French novelist and poet. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. and trans. by Geoffrey Wagner (1958). Aurélia, pt. 2, ch. 1 (1855).

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