La dette insolvable de la mort du Père dans Aurélia de G. de Nerval : plainte romantique ou mélancolique ? - Université de Picardie Jules Verne Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique Année : 2016

The insolvent debt of the death of the Father in Aurélia de G. de Nerval: Romantic or melancholic complaint?

La dette insolvable de la mort du Père dans Aurélia de G. de Nerval : plainte romantique ou mélancolique ?


Context and objectives Gérard de Nerval spread in Aurélia an unpublished autobiographical approach, which tells this tragic adventure of its spirit in which the borders of the dream and the life are abolished. In this oscillating text between pathographic and poetic narrative, the deep echoes between the individual and collective convulsions reveal the first wavering of our modernity: the moral and personal drama is jointly historic and cultural drama. We contribute here to the understanding of certain historic reports between psychopathology and social by the analysis of this inmost correlation between the psychic symptomatic “déliaison” and certain lines of historic transfer of the social links during the (post-)revolutionary period. Themes Aurélia, started by Nerval in 1853 then its first stay in private psychiatric hospital, tries to register a crisis of civilization: “The chaos pulled by the fall of the throne, and God's death, is just like the mental disorder which Aurélia tries to report” (G. Macé). The deep proven disillusionment in front of the collapse of the former world and in the rising industrial revolution is one example of the second romantic generation, the complaint of which regrets bitterly a certain “decay of civilization”. It is by the motive for the fault, and the associated sense of guilty that emerges a catastrophic real-life experience. Its importance progresses of an initially personal fault, in a loving register, in an existential guilt. In the first case, this fault organizes the inaccessibility of the object, and in the second case, it coincides with the impossibility to live. This fault appears ultimately as that of the Father, marked by a triple failure: failure of the real father, always too distant; failure then in the order of the world by the fall of sacred King-father of the nation, doubled by that of Napoleon, this other father who failed; failure finally of the religious order because of the dismissal of God the Father after the attack stirred up by the spirit of the Lights. By the fall of King and the break of the symbolic filiation, the event of the collapse of the filial link doubles and overlaps in that of the social link. Conclusion The fault and the guilty are a matter of a debt, left by his ancestors, family and homeland, a debt at the same time of life and dead, impossible to settle, which eventually destroys the link of which it is essential. This omnipresent fault always seems to relate, directly or indirectly, to a content, which we can summarize by the decay of the Father, and the indifference of a guilty world towards this dismissal. The writer tries then to build an image of the Third on a delirious mode. If the collective tragedy consists in this decay of the figure of the Father, the tragic staff is to have “wanted” desperately to make the Father resuscitate as first cause, divine whole lot causes of causes, creator of the world and original point of a universal filiation.
Dans Aurélia, sa dernière œuvre, Gérard de Nerval relate l’aventure tragique de son esprit dans laquelle les frontières du rêve et de la vie se sont abolies. À la croisée de l’histoire individuelle et de l’histoire collective, ce récit à la fois poétique et délirant tente de recomposer un « discours de l’origine » qui viendrait s’opposer au double effondrement résultant de l’abandon parental et de l’anomie sociale. Nous saisissons dans cet article le motif de la faute qui s’étend entre culpabilité individuelle et collective pour problématiser la double valence, psychique et sociale, du lien, porté par la figure du Père, et de ses ruptures.


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Dates et versions

hal-04077186 , version 1 (21-04-2023)



Philippe Spoljar. La dette insolvable de la mort du Père dans Aurélia de G. de Nerval : plainte romantique ou mélancolique ?. Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique, 2016, 174 (9), pp.757-762. ⟨10.1016/j.amp.2015.10.029⟩. ⟨hal-04077186⟩


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