A friend of mine brought me CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I had not read it at the age of 60! I've read all my life, somehow never got around to it. He tells me, "one of the best ever!" I for some reason considered it a book that you must have a higher level of knowledge to comprehend!
After reading the book last year, I understand why the book waits for me! To live, to suffer the non-understanding of life, or the agonies of living is absolutely pivotal to appreciate this book. I ran across this evaluation in wikipedia "Fyodor Dostoevsky has been judged by many literary critics to be one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature." Did he study psychology?
To become an expert one must have a higher learning, practice one's trade, or LIVE WHAT YOU KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT. (I believe after reviewing much of his life... he qualifies for the latter!)
Dostoevsky was introduced to literature at a young age. His mother died while he was a teenager, his father was a Doctor, thought killed by his own serfs. Mostly home schooled he becomes a civil engineer, but turned to writing, his first book Poor Folk in 1846, achieving success at a young age. This novel allowed him to join St. Petersburg literary circles. In 1849 was arrested for his involvement with the Petrashevsky circle. A secret society of liberal utopians as well as a literary discussion group. He and other members were condemned to death, but the penalty proved to be a mock execution was commuted to hard labor in Siberia and forced to serve as a soldier afterwards. He was imprisoned with the worst of the lot, we as regular people cannot fathom, nor dare! Imagine spending time in prison TODAY.... let alone... Siberia of the 1850's!
I feel this is the bare minimum of what you need to know about Dostoevsky to get merely a dash of understand, starting with the first page. He wraps himself and his understanding of the inner workings of thought into a novel like non other!
I will admit, not an easy read! I'm use to reading fast, as most books I read were purely for lighthearted entertainment. I almost gave up at around 100 pages asking, "why am I reading this book?" I stood firm, my stubborn side won out! Beginning once more from the start, I'm glad I did!
The names are hard to follow so I used a little trick to make it easier. Example, the main character Raskolnikov, I made Raskol.
SO THOSE OF YOU WHO'VE NOT READ CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, I'M GONNA TAKE ANOTHER GO AT IT! HOWEVER IT IS MY OPINION "ONE CANNOT TRULY RELISH THE TRUE THOUGHT PROCESS UNLESS ONE HAS LIVED, SUFFERED, SURVIVED! FORGET THAT THIS BOOK IS ALMOST 150 YEARS OLD.. THAT'S THE HIDDEN BEAUTY OF IT! IT'S TIMELESS!
I have no idea where this little endeavor will go! It might falter immediately, carry on for a spell, hopefully, the complete book!
How often I will write about CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, will be when I have the quiet time it deserves to reflect upon!
I'M A SIMPLE MAN, EXPLORING, SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS! I'M NOT AN EXPERT IN ANYTHING, EXCEPT LIVING... TO THIS AGE! I DO NOT CLAIM TO BE ANYONE, OTHER THAN WHAT YOU READ ABOUT IN MY RAMBLINGS... BUT... THAT ALONE MAY MAKE ME... ONE... TO FREELY WRITE MY THOUGHTS!
Part 1 A young man describes his living conditions on an hot July night as a closet with with dinner and maid service included. Every time he must pass his landlady's kitchen, where the door was always open. He cringes from shame, as he was in debt to her. He had worked himself into an irritable and tense state, isolating himself, fearing meeting anyone. No longer taking care of daily affairs. Crushed by poverty, although that failed to burden him at this time. He was not afraid of his landlady but rather not wanting to be stopped and listen to her nonsense about payment, her threats and have to make excuses, much better to steal catlike down the stairs. "I want to attempt such a thing, and at the same time I'm afraid of such trifles!"
Walking slowly indecisive, occupied deep in thoughts, "I've learned to babble this past month, lying in a corner day in and day out, thinking about ... cuckoo land. Why on earth, am I going now? Am I really capable of THAT? No, not serious, just toying with it, for the sake of fantasy!
( THIS YOUNG MAN HAS WORKED HIMSELF INTO AN EXTREME STATE OF MIND OVER SOMETHING???
DOSTOEVSKY PAINTS A PICTURE OF PETERSBURG'S UNPLEASANTNESS IN THE STIFLING SUMMERTIME. INTOLERABLE STENCH FROM THE PLENTIFUL TAVERNS, IN THAT PART OF THE CITY.)
A loathsome and melancholy coloring of the picture. A feeling of the deepest revulsion flashed for a moment in the young man's fine features. Remarkably good-looking, taller than average, slender and trim, with beautiful dark eyes and dark blonde hair. He walks on in deep thought no longer aware of his surroundings, muttering to himself from time to time, realising he has not eaten in two days was feeling weak.
Continues on to the local pawnbroker described "She was a tiny dried up old crone, about sixty, with sharp, spiteful little eyes and a small, sharp nose. She was bareheaded, and her colorless and only slightly graying hair was thickly greased. Her long, thin neck, was wrapped in some flannel rags, and, despite the heat, a fur trimmed jacket, completely worn out and yellow with age, hung loosely from her shoulders. Alyona Ivanova.
(WHILE RASKOL WAS IN ALYONA IVANOVA'S HE STUDY'S THE TWO ROOM SHABBY APARTMENT VERY CAREFULLY ... WHILE PAWNING HIS FATHER'S WATCH, NOTICING THE KEYS AND THE SOUNDS MADE IN THE OTHER ROOM AS HE TOOK ALL IN WAITING FOR HIS MONEY. HUMM... WHAT DOES RASKOL HAVE IN MIND THAT HE HAS WORKED HIMSELF INTO SUCH A TERRIBLE STATE THINKING ABOUT?)
RASKOL, "Oh, God, how loathsome, this all is! And it can be that I ... no, it's nonsense, it's absurd! Could such horror really come into my head? But then, what filth my heart is capable of! ...Above all filthy, nasty, vile, vile! ...And for the whole month I ..."
(RASKOL'S HEAD STOPPED SPINNING FROM ALYONA IVANOVA'S APARTMENT, HE FIND'S HIMSELF AT A TAVERN, ALTHOUGH HE NEVER WAS IN ONE BEFORE! HE FELT RELIEVED, HIS MIND CLEAR AFTER DOWNING THE FIRST BEER.
I'll make this my first attempt at showing Raskol's state of mind. What is he going to do? Looks like robbing the old pawn-broker heah? I hope I've established enough of Dostoevsky's own words to give you a feel!!
We'll see where this goes from here. This was a lot of work establishing Dostoevsky's real life and why he could write this book, the way he did!!! You must remember the way he wrote, this style was new!