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The Lover of Julie Wolmar: The New Heloise and Tatiana’s Dilemma

Milla Fedorova. "The Lover of Julie Wolmar: The New Heloise and Tatiana’s Dilemma." Slavic and East European Journal 53.2 (2009): 171 - 187.

In the third chapter of Eugene Onegin, when Tatiana is ripe for falling in love, she begins to try on different literary romantic roles. The models Tatiana finds for Onegin are Wolmar (“the lover of Julie”), Malek-Adhel and de Linar. But in Rousseau’s novel Julie, or the New Heloise, Wolmar is not the lover of the heroine, but her husband. The chronological and syntactic discrepancies make the references to The New Heloise focus on the question of how the heroine’s marital status determines her relations with her lover. The shift in Julie’s last name implies the distant consequences of this choice for Tatiana: as a married woman, Tatiana’s model does not succumb to her passion. Thus, the future development of Eugene Onegin is embryonically contained in its third chapter. Paradoxically, one and the same book is dangerous for the Tatiana modeled after Julie d’Etange (the heroine’s maiden name) and yet saving for the married Tatiana who actually models herself after Julie Wolmar.

» More publications by Lioudmila Fedorova

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