(4) Naroditskaya even looks at early 19th-century romantic ballet by itself in a subsection of her Rusalka chapter (204), in which she offers an explanation for romantic ballet's key narrative trope--and an opera trope too--playing out differently in Russia than in Europe.
In the book's second half, she studies the effects of that pathology (which she links with the Russian narrative style inoskazanie--YitcmWy "other telling" ) first on authors like Pushkin, who was fascinated by the recently suppressed world of Catherines court, then on the five operas she chooses as case studies, by composers from Glinka to Chaikovskii: Ruslan and Liudmila, Rusalka, Mlada, Sadko, and The Queen of Spades.
All of a sudden Rusalka and Carmen are sinister sisters.
That overdetermination is what makes it possible to accept Naroditskaya's point about the provenance of all those rusalka operas even if we know that the Dnepr rusalki who inhabit Russian operas had swum over from the Danube, where they had been featured in Austrian Singspiel about Donauweibchen that Russian theatergoers knew very well--and even if we recall that women have been enticing and ruining clueless men in song and story ever since Adam and Eve.
In this sense it continues with the line of interpretation of Dvorak's Rusalka
, initiated twenty years ago by David Pountney at the English National Opera.
Beginning the section on Rusalka
, Francis Claudon briefly considers "Rusalka
et le drame symboliste european." The Czech scholar Alexander Stich then examines at length the work's libretto as "ein sprachliches, stilistisches and literarisches Phanomen," with observations on its place in European drama as well as among librettos set by Dvorak.