If Trilby's talent is innate, and her doubleness has always been a part of her identity, then this suggests that Svengali cannot be the only powerful identity in this text.
What Auerbach ignores, however, is that despite the fact that Trilby physically dominates the pages of the novel, the illustrations also suggest that a balance of influence exists between 'la grande Trilby' and Svengali. In one illustration, Trilby and Svengali are depicted bowing after a performance (257: see Figure 4).
Furthermore, the boys collecting flowers behind them seem to represent an image of innocence, stripping the image of Svengali and Trilby in the forefront of its possible manipulative connotations.
In becoming 'La Svengali' it seems that Trilby is subsumed by Svengali.
Svengali claims in the beginning of the novel that Trilby 'shall see nothing, hear nothing, think of nothing but Svengali, Svengali, Svengali!' (60), but when Little Billee hears her sing he believes it is as if she is saying 'for I am Trilby; and you shall hear nothing, see nothing, think of nothing, but Svengali, Svengali, Svengali!' (245).
Trilby and Svengali bind themselves so closely to one another that by the end of the novel they are unable to function independently.
Finally, the illustration in which Svengali mesmerises Trilby, 'Et maintenant dors, ma mignonne!' (302: see Figure 5), seems to demonstrate this very magnetic current that flows between them.
(4) Daniel Pick, Svengali's Web: The Alien Enchanter in Modern Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), p.
(5) Nina Auerbach's 'Magi and Maidens: The Romance of the Victorian Freud' in Critical Inquiry, 8/2 (1981), 281-300, also argues that a reading which dismisses Trilby as a passive victim oversimplifies the complex relationship between Trilby and Svengali. However, while Auerbach is interested in the mythic, magical and regenerative powers of women in late nineteenth-century fiction, I argue that mesmerism itself needs to be re-examined in order to suggest that power relations within the mesmeric process are fluid, and that the relationship between Trilby and Svengali is one of an interchange of powers.
On the other hand, like Svengali, Moscheles was a talented pianist, his father was known to have been Jewish, he appears to have had at least a trace of a German accent, and he practiced hypnotism.
One cannot know the specific mental route by which Du Maurier connected Moscheles to Svengali, whether it was consciously thought out or a subconscious flash or whatever.
Rosenberg, Edgar, From Shylock to Svengali, Stanford U.