Monday, January 16, 2006

06.04 Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime & Punishment


Crime And Punishment (1866) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

There is probably not a lot I could write about this book that has not been said ad nauseum and I expect that many of you lib-arts types have read this in school. I had a tough time reading the first half of the novel but eventually you have to give in his insane writing style.

The story, while straightforward, is deeply complex and explores many issues of socialism, athiesm, family, sanity and morality to name a few. Raskolnikov is a young student living a destitute life in St. Petersburg. He concieves and executes a haphazard murder near the beginning of the story which seems to cause his mind to snap. His delerium seems to be caused by illness and yet he puts forth a thesis of justification for what he has done. He constantly pushes the boundaries of friendship with his friend Razumikhin, with his mother and sister when they come to see him and with the police.

His paranoia manifests itself constantly and he always seems to be acting irrationally. This behavior, it's internal dialogue and consequences comprise the bulk of the text. I wish I had a better background in existentialism.

It is an amazing thing for a novel, any novel, to be around for nearly 250 years. The world that Dostoyevsky lived in then was one which was entirely different from the one we exist in now. Nevertheless, his book is well considered and retains a wealth of themes that are relevant even in modern society. A worthwhile read.

4 comments:

Olman Feelyus said...

Damn! I've been reading really slowly this week and was worried your number 4 was on my heels. But Crime and Punishment! Nice. I only read the first half of Notes from the Underground and didn't get it at all, but it did crack me up the way the guy was so paranoid and angry at his servant. Russians are nuts, is my conclusion, but in a funny way (though not so funny after seeing Hostel). Good job!

Lantzvillager said...

Thanks! I've been pecking away at this book since late in '05 and it had been a struggle. You will probably see me sitting in the pocket for the next few.

Crumbolst said...

Nice accomplishment! I still haven't read it. Keep putting it off.

beemused said...

Good job! I read C&P post-university, mostly out of mild lit-curiosity and self-obligation. Man, was I glad I chose this book. What a whirlwind getting sucked into Rashkolikov's deteriorating psyche. I remember being on edge for days after finishing the novel.