Now, on BOING BOING: My essay on the mad poet Gerard de Nerval’s famous “lobster walk.” (The first in a series of ha-ha-only serious attempts at “Self-Help for Surrealists.”)
Teaser: “Before Rimbaud, before the Surrealists, there was Nerval (1808 – 1855), living his life as if it were a lucid dream. Of course, it didn’t hurt that his mental skies flickered with the chain lightning of madness–bouts of insanity that condemned him to periodic stays in asylums and, ultimately, self-murder.”
“Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog? Or a cat, or a gazelle, or a lion, or any other animal that one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the secrets of the sea, they don’t bark, and they don’t gobble up your monadic privacy like dogs do. And Goethe had an aversion to dogs, and he wasn’t mad!”
– Gérard de Nerval, when asked why he kept a lobster as a pet and walked it on a leash.
Â Read “Nerval’s Lobster,” HERE.