Born on May 22, 1808 in Paris, Gerard de Nerval is an essayist, translator, poet and writer of the Romantic era. He dedicated his life and several of his writings to Jenny Colon an object of his obsession. She died in 1942. He exudes his charming personality and intelligence in poetry form.
He had a talent for translation and his best work was Goethe's Faust in 1828. Goethe loved it and it was later used for the symphony by Hector Berlioz La damnation de Faust. His poetry is characterized by Romantic ideals. He had a passion for the spirit world as well as a negative view of the real world. One of Nerval's admirers was Victor Hugo.
He had several nervous breakdowns during his life and in a series of novellas his feelings were highly explored. Nerval was poverty-stricken, disoriented and depressed. On January 26, 1855, Nerval hung himself from a sewer covering in a mean back street. His note: "do not wait up for me this evening." His manuscript for Aurelia was in his pocket and published later that year. He left behind his pet lobster who he took for walk regularly.