Jump to: navigation, search

Corinne Fournier-Kiss

George Sand and the Rottová Sisters


George Sand is the author of two narratives on the Bohemian (Hussite) Wars, Jan Ziska and Procope le Grand, and of two "Czech" novels, Consuelo and La Comtesse de Rudolstadt (all works written in 1842-1843). Czech intellectuals of that time were very much impressed by the mass of informations these writings reveal on Czech history and Czech character, as well as by the accuracy and the clear-sightedness of the writer on matters of Czech destiny.

Two women writers, in particular, do not spare their praise for the genius of the French novelist: the two sisters Rottová, known under the pen names of Karolina Sv?tlá (1830-1899) and Sofia Podlipská (1833-1897), gave vent to their admiration towards Sand in their correspondence and in their literary and critical works. As far as Podlipská is concerned, her admiration culminates in her translation into Czech of Consuelo and La Comtesse de Rudolstadt, as well as in a long essay devoted to Sand in 1872 in the journal Kv?ty (journal with feminist leanings). Her sister Karolina Sv?tlá, meanwhile, refers several times to Sand in Z literárního soukromí (her Memoirs) and she notably reports her conversation with her friend Dr. ?ejk, who asserted to have served as George Sand's guide in Prague. Sv?tlá is thus at the origin of the famous legend which claims that Sand would have made an incognito stay in Bohemia shortly before writing her "Czech" novels – stay whose authenticity could never be ascertained, notwithstanding the efforts of some critics (cf. for example the study of P.M. Haškovec, 1925).

In this paper, I will try to examine the real impact exerted by the French novelist on the two sisters Rottová’s literary production.

AsK, September 2012

Personal tools