In an article published on 5 October 1835, Berlioz states that the great French poet Alfred de Vigny once called him 'un homme de lettres', a description that Berlioz treats with humour and irony, and rejects as absurd. 1 Yet Vigny was right. Berlioz could definitely be called a man of letters: his literary production is substantial; his concert reviews reveal a very interesting style; and, moreover, Berlioz himself collected these reviews into books, where the same poetics can be seen to underlie both his musical and his literary works. 2 This chapter will explore the nature of these poetics within two important works: the Symphonie fantastique of 1830, first called Épisode de la vie d'un artiste (op. 18a), and the second part of that symphony, Le Retour à la vie (op. 18b), dating from 1832, whose title Berlioz changed to Lélio in 1855. 3 Berlioz said of Le Retour à la vie that it was his 'first attempt in literature'. 4 Rather than being merely a musical work, it embodies the union of music and literature.