Thursday, March 01, 2007

Crime and Punishment

Completed the Winter Classics challenge - Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment at a bit after 11pm last night- just in time. I read this last (I think) back in 1970 and much enjoyed the re-read. Highlights for me included
  • the death of Marmaledov
  • the last few chapters - before he hands himself in
I regretted the casual anti-Semitism that sometimes was just incidentally mentioned. As a study of guilt and it's reactions to it it was superb. The Penguin reading guide asks:
Who is the real criminal? Marmeladov, for abandoning his family? Luzhin for exploiting Dunya? Svidrigailov for murdering his wife? Sonya for prostituting herself? The greedy pawnbroker whom Raskolnikov murdered? Or, to turn the question around: Who among us is not a criminal? Who among us has not attempted to impose his or her will on the natural order? Furthermore, we are made to understand that Raskolnikov's true punishment is not the sentence imposed on him by the court of law, but that imposed on him by his own actions

It was interesting to read this alongside Wright's study of St Paul and reflecting upon Paul's agonising in Romans 7! This book comes in at no 27 in the survey for World Book Day which I found surprising!
(Steppenwolf - No 4 of this challenge - was completed a bit back and blogged upon here on my other blog.)

2 comments:

booklogged said...

Congratulations on finishing the classics challenge, Rajm. I'll put your name in the drawing to be held on Sunday, Mar 4.

3M said...

I finished on the last day, too!
Congrats on finishing.