revistas electrónicas de la Universidad de Granada

The Relevance of George Sand’s "Lucrezia Floriani" for Dostoevsky’s "Netochka Nezvanova"

Ellen Chances


Analyses of Dostoevsky’s unfinished 1849 novel, Netochka Nezvanova, have focused on its connection to Dostoevsky’s biography and to his earlier and later works; to the tradition of German Romanticism; to the tradition of the Bildungsroman and that of the confession; to literary depictions of the artist and the dreamer; to ideas about education; to psychological interpretations, including to the issue of codependency.
Scholars have discussed influences on Netochka Nezvanova, including, among others, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Vladimir Odoevsky, Balzac, Eugène Sue, Sir Walter Scott, Dickens, Rousseau, Goncharov, Gogol, Pushkin, Herzen, and George Sand. When scholars speak about George Sand in connection with Netochka Nezvanova, some suggest that her novels, Consuelo and Lucrezia Floriani, were important to Dostoevsky in the emphasis of the future trajectory of the novel, in Netochka’s future life as a great singer.
In this article, I attempt to prove that some of the major features of Netochka Nezvanova that have links to Lucrezia Floriani have almost nothing to do with the theme of the singer-to-be, but rather, have to do, almost exclusively, with aspects of psychology.
I focus on these links between the Dostoevsky and George sand novels: thematic concerns and parallels that are intertwined with major characters’ personality traits and behavior; a few subplots; and a dog. Dostoevsky took the core of Lucrezia Floriani, a story of obsession, passion, and illusion – in love – that can corrupt; and applied that situation to obsession, passion, and illusion in art and human relationships.

Palabras clave

Dostoevsky, Netochka Nezvanova, George Sand, Lucrezia Floriani, psychology

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ISSN: 1579-8372 | eISSN: 2255-517X