By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
A younger guy commits the proper crime: the homicide of a vile pawnbroker whom nobody will pass over. Raskolnikov is determined for cash, yet he convinces himself that his rationale for the homicide is to learn mankind. So starts a sad novel that illuminates the everlasting fight among human feelings and hope, and the tough legislation of ethics and justice. half mystery and half philosophical meditation, it is a penetrating examine the center of human nature.
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Extra resources for Crime and Punishment
I have the image of a beast, and Katerina Ivanovna, my spouse, is an educated person and by birth an officer’s daughter. Granted, granted I am a scoundrel, while she has a lofty heart and is full of sentiments ennobled by good breeding. . oh, if only she felt pity for me! My dear sir, my dear sir, but it is necessary that every man have at least one such place where he, too, is pitied! . . But no! no! . . ” the proprietor remarked, yawning. Marmeladov banged his fist resolutely on the table.
But there is perhaps no scene in all of Dostoevsky more perfectly ambiguous than this one. Ambiguity is not incidental to Dostoevsky’s vision. It is most obvious here in the comical, even farcical, scandals and absurdities surrounding the gruesome death of Marmeladov and the memorial meal following his funeral. But comical incidents abound throughout the novel. Even the central story of Raskolnikov and his struggle with “fate” keeps verging on comedy. Then, too, much of the action has an oddly theatrical quality, and Dostoevsky often uses stage terminology for setting scenes (he refers a number of times to “the public,” so unexpectedly that earlier translators have paraphrased the term away).
Farther down the Neva is the well-to-do residential and amusement area called the Islands. Often, though not consistently, Dostoevsky blanks out the names of specific streets and other topographical points. Scholars armed with maps have traced Raskolnikov’s movements around the city and discovered the missing names, which some translators have then inserted into their versions of the novel. We have consistently followed Dostoevsky’s inconsistency here, assuming it had an artistic purpose. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT A Novel in Six Parts with Epilogue Fyodor Dostoevsky TRANSLATED AND ANNOTATED BY Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky VINTAGE BOOKS London Part One I AT THE BEGINNING of July, during an extremely hot spell, towards evening, a young man left the closet he rented from tenants in S——y Lane, walked out to the street, and slowly, as if indecisively, headed for the K——n Bridge.