“Crime and Punishment”; Literate talks


Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Crime and Punishment! It’s unforgivably disturbing and beautiful.

Dostoevsky is one of those authors that you know very well that you can’t do him justice whatever you write and however you write it. Try to add some poetic touch suddenly it becomes too “Pushkin”. Then you try a much stricter structure but of course you end up with a “Freud” rant! Now, that’s Fyodor right in the middle!

“In a morbid condition, dreams are often distinguished by their remarkably graphic, vivid, and extremely lifelike quality. The resulting picture is sometimes monstrous, but the setting and the whole process of the presentation sometimes happen to be so probable, and with details so subtle, unexpected, yet artistically consistent with the whole fullness of the picture, that even the dreamer himself would be unable to invent them in reality, though he were as much an artist as Pushkin or Turgenev. Such dreams, morbid dreams, are always long remembered and produce a strong impression on the disturbed and already excited organism of the person. Raskolnikov had a terrible dream.” 
This is Dostoevsky at his purest and most beautiful prose! His words literally have another flow, an entire different sense of poetic-ness and realism. What leaves me even more in love with him is that in Russian I know that he’s even more exquisite. Maybe I am consumed with all the criticism but I am convinced that Russian fully captures Fyodor’s uniqueness! I surely don’t know the language but only by hearing it I am in the great position to see this writer writing in it, telling his stories through such a romantic but yet also harsh language to foreign ears like mine.
Dostoevsky knows how to get under your skin, he brings to the paper all these wonders, all these dreams and all the sins we have either committed or desire to commit!

*note; this edition was translated and annotated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky / the winner of the 1991 PEN/Book-of-the-month Club Prize for Best Translation
It really deserves to point out that other than the gorgeous cover, this edition was excellent with the translators’ notes literally on point!
It’s a piece of art, of literature, of philosophy and of course of damn Russian drama! That being said, you’re more than allowed to hate it. No cruel judgement from me my dearest ladies and gentlemen but at least give this a try!
Now, let’s get our gloves dirty with some spoilers!

I’m almost sure that it has been two weeks since I had devoured this piece of literature but let me tell you that some chapters and especially some words of wisdom still hunt me! (Trust me, Dostoevsky is capable of making you hate your miserable, boring, worthless, dull life and who knows, even kill “loathsome, harmful louses”) (Please let me know if any Dostoevsky driven murderers ever existed because I’m definitely getting my hopes up!)

“At first-even long before-he had been occupied with one question: why almost all crimes are so easily detected and solved, and why almost all crimes leave such an obviously marked trail. He came gradually to various and curious conclusions, the chief reason lying, in his opinion, not so much in the material impossibility of concealing the crime as in the criminal himself; the criminal himself, almost any criminal, experiences at the moment of crime a sort of failure of will and reason, which, on the contrary, are replaced by a phenomenal, childish thoughtlessness, just at the moment when reason and prudence are most necessary….” (Raskolnikov, pg. 70-71)
  • This was the very passage that I realized that this character will mess me up way harder than I thought… and well it did! This exact monologue of his is brilliant and quite ironic if we look later in the novel when he falls victim of this so called failure. Oh, and I’m quite certain that Fyodor had committed a crime himself, I mean other than this whole novel look at the above quoted part …… really descriptive! (I LOVE HIM EVEN MORE NOW)

“The first category is always the man of the present, the second the man of the future. The first preserve the world and people it, the second move the world and lead it to its goal. Each class has an equal right to exist. In fact, all have equal rights with me—and vive la guerre éternelle—till the New Jerusalem, of course!” (Raskolnikov, pg. 259-265)
  • This is a part of the famously quoted discussion of Petrovich and Raskolnikov on the later’s article. This is one of the philosophical parts that touched me the most, the talk on the extraordinary men and the natural law regarding them. Shamelessly I’ll admit that this is also the reason I cried my eyes out two hours ago …

“..Eh, an aesthetic louse is what I am, and nothing more.” (Raskolnikov pg.274-275)
“Power is given only to him who dates to stoop and take it… one must have the courage to dare.” (Raskolnikov, pg. 418-419)
  • ​​That’s Raskolnikov. This is where we see what truly drove him to such a decision, to such a crime. He admits that this was an act of proving himself to be an extraordinary man, he devotes himself to aesthetics much like Henry Winter does. In the end of this particular monologue and dialogue we see his tragic current view when it comes to his mom and his sister, how everything has changed so drastically, how he despises their affection and love. Terrific passages!

“What of it that perhaps no one will see you for so long? It’s not time, but yourself that will decide that. Be the sun and all will see you. The sun has before all to be the sun. Why are you smiling again? At my being such a Schiller? I bet you’re imagining that I am trying to get round you by flattery. Well, perhaps I am, he-he-he!..” (Porfiry pg.460)
  • Porfiry pushes the right buttons! He can have Raskolnikov in his immediate possession but then he likes the game, he likes the thrill and last but not least watching the suffering of this peculiar, pretentious, young killer. Brilliant scene!

So, it’s 12.27 AM here while I’m writing this and it’s raining heavily outside (THIS FEELS SO DRAMATIC AND OUT OF A BOOK!YESSS) and I can’t stop rumbling about this masterpiece so you’ll allow me to be extremely brief with the rest of my critic (I mostly do this because I don’t want to think that these post its went to waste).
  • pg. 17+24 / Marmeladov’s tragic story and his fight with Katerina {upsetting scene}
  • pg. 135+202 / Razumkhin thoughts on lying and his dorky little confession to Dunya {he is such a cinnamon roll}
  • pg. 187 / Rolenka kisses Roskalnikov {I couldn’t help myself from shedding handful of tears! It’s such an emotional scene and I mean it with every sense of the world; IT HAS WAY TOO MANY EMOTIONS}
  • pg. 397+ 430 / Katerina defends Sonya and Katerina along with her children at the streets {also many tears here; Katerina is a phenomenal character, such a strong and tragic heroine. this may be an unpopular opinion but I appreciate her as a female character, she portraits perfectly the tragedy of that area, the tragedy of a woman of her period. I love her and defend her with all of my heart)
  • pg. 305 / Dunya demands of Luzhin to leave and Razumkhin gets all dorky again {I want a human being like him in my life}
  •  —— / {Loved the dynamic between Sonya and Roskalnikov}
  • pg. 511 / Svidrigailov’s trip to “America” {potential unpopular opinion #2; I have not yet admitted this openly yet but I rooted for this character, he is so damn special and so damn disturbing with his own way! His ecstatic dreams especially the part with the young girl freaked me out like nothing else in this novel. I adored every minute of his story and in the end, Dostoevsky gave him the most perfect ending even if I secretly wanted another!

That was “Crime and Punishment” for me! –  “But that is the beginning of a new story—the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s