Sylvie

Gérard de Nerval

الفكر والثقافة العامة

Sylvie par Gérard de Nerval The story is about a hero's love for three women, all of whom he loses; a hymn to unattainable, unrequited love. The story begins when a paragraph in a newspaper plunges the narrator into his memories as a younger man. The perspective seems to shift back and forth between the past and present, so the reader is never entirely sure if the narrator

 is recounting past events from memory, or retelling current events as they happen. Critics have praised the writing for its lucid and lyrical style. The narrator, of noble status who has recently come into an inheritance, decides to leave Paris, where he is living a debauched life of theater and drink, and return to the love of his youth, a peasant girl named Sylvie who has classic features and brunette hair, a "timeless ideal". She sows gloves for a living and ends up marrying another man more equal to her class. The narrator also loves a seductive actress in Paris named Aurelia, who has many suitors who tell her empty idylls of love, but none love her for who she really is, including the narrator, who sees her as a lovely illusion that fades in the daylight of reality. The narrator also loves Adrienne, of noble birth, tall with blonde hair, she is an "ideal beauty", but she lives in a convent, and dies an early death. In the end he loves all three but obtains none, seemingly for reasons both beyond and within his making.

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