Nerval and Money: The Currency of Dreams

In many of Nerval's works, disdain for money is a sign of mastery of life, potency, the superiority of a marginal bohemian existence, and the intangible spiritual value of literature. Economic failure was the condition of literary success; Nerval's oneiric Valois existed in opposition to the economic realities of the July Monarchy But money was also a sign of Nerval's fear of economic and social failure and of his deteriorating mental condition. He gauged his rationality and mental stability in relation to money and debt The coin indeed has two faces; one side reflects Nerval's self-esteem and creativity, the other his increasing mental distress. (SD)

Dunn, Susan.
Volume 1990 Fall; 19(1): 54-64