By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Few authors were as individually conversant in desperation as Fyodor Dostoevsky, and none were so adept at describing it. Crime and Punishment—the novel that heralded the author’s interval of masterworks—tells the tale of the terrible and gifted scholar Raskolnikov, a personality of unheard of mental intensity and complexity. Raskolnikov purposes that males like himself, via advantage in their highbrow superiority, can and needs to go beyond societal legislations. to check his conception, he devises the best crime—the homicide of a spiteful pawnbroker dwelling in St. Petersburg.
In essentially the most gripping crime tales of all time, Raskolnikov quickly realizes the folly of his abstractions. Haunted by way of shiny hallucinations and the torments of his sense of right and wrong, he seeks reduction from his terror and ethical isolation—first from Sonia, the pious streetwalker who urges him to admit, then in a demanding video game of cat and mouse with Porfiry, the intense Justice of the Peace assigned to the homicide research. A journey de strength of suspense, Crime and Punishment delineates the theories and motivations that underlie a bankrupt morality.
Priscilla Meyer is Professor of Russian Language and Literature at Wesleyan college, in Middletown, Connecticut. She released locate What the Sailor Has Hidden, the 1st monograph on Vladimir Nabokov’s light hearth, and edited the 1st English translation of Andrei Bitov’s choice of brief tales, lifestyles in Windy climate.
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Extra resources for Crime and Punishment (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Svidrigailov suggests that eternity may be 舠one little room, like a bathhouse in the country, black and grimy and spiders in every corner舡 (p. 277). Without a definition of eternity, his existence lacks any moral basis, so that he can commit both evil and benevolent acts with indifference; in this he is perhaps a parody of the concept of the 舠natural man舡 of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Because his life can have no meaning, he elects to take it 舠to America舡 in the form of suicide舒a journey from which Sonia can save Raskolnikov because, unlike Svidrigailov, he retains his conscience and compassion from his churchgoing village childhood.
He asks her to read him 舠the story of Lazarus,舡 and she tells him it is in 舠the fourth gospel,舡 the biblical Gospel of John (p. 310). Dostoevsky incorporates the Gospel of John as a hidden system of references in Crime and Punishment; indeed the novel may be understood as a kind of modern version of John. Details along Raskolnikov舗s path hint at an inverse parallel to the life of Jesus as told by John, for Raskolnikov wants to make himself into a God by giving himself the right to take human life.
ZOSSIMOV: Raskolnikov舗s doctor; a friend of Dmitri Razumikhin. NASTASIA PETROVNA: A servant in the house where Raskolnikov lives; she tends to him after the murders. PRASKOVIA PAVLOVNA ZARNITSYN: Raskolnikov舗s landlady; Raskolnikov had been engaged to her daughter, who died. KOCH: With Pestriakov, he discovers the murders. PESTRIAKOV: With Koch, he discoverers the murders. PORFIRY PETROVICH: The official investigating the murders. ILIA PETROVICH: A police official. NIKODIM FOMICH: The chief of police.