Sarah 's Reviews > Crime and Punishment: Pevear & Volokhonsky Translation

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Oct 11, 12

bookshelves: loves-of-my-life

Oh, Rasky!!!!!!!! You idiot.


Spoilers ahead:

--Damn! I felt Raskolnikov's anxiety. I resented his mother when he did and I loved her when he did. I felt sick at the thought of Luzhin or Svidrigailov getting their hooks in dear Dunya (shout out to Dunya!) I wanted Porfiry to just accuse him, already! I guess I'm saying that Dostoevsky managed to make a very real character that I believed enough to mentally and physically align myself with while reading. This is what ultimately kept me turning the pages.

--I find it a miracle that I liked Raskolnikov. His personality--at least that suggested in the character's essay On Crime--isn't one that I tend to sympathize with. The scholar who thinks he's a super-human and therefore above or aside from others is someone who I want to punch in the nuts, normally. A complete lack of humility is not sexy. I liked him, anyway. I think we weren't seeing him at his finest, and the way that Dunya and his mother and that swell chap Razumikhin loved him suggested so.

--What was up with Sonya? Why was she so good? Why did she love him and follow him to Siberia? DANG! I've always had a soft spot for the wounded and/or pathetic men of the world, so I'm familiar with this theme, but still. But still. STILL, goodreaders! How could Sonya be that good?

--Speaking of o_O, what was up with all the madness and dizziness and delirium in this book?! I've known people in pretty distressing situations and tragic despair...and they didn't immediately get a fever. Was there some sort of Russian virus that lay dormant until stress levels rose? There must've been because it sent Raskol into delirium where he shouted out murder clues in his sleep, killed Katerina Ivanovna (though, to be fair, she was dying, anyway), caused Dunya to betray her brother to her mother while sleeping ("She was raving!") and then finally killed his poor mother after a few years of being batshit. O_o?

--I find Dostoevsky's personal story, weaved in with Raskolnikov's, to be very interesting, and I appreciated the translator's endnotes that helped me piece these together. I would like to read more about him before reading "Notes from Underground."

--My favorite moment was when he was serving hard time and realized he loved Sonya. Maybe this makes me a sap, but it was such a relief to know that he could feel, again. The other prisoners hated him less after that, which makes all the sense in the world.




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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Tatiana I do think that brain fever, or encephalitis, was something much more common in 19th c. urban Russia than it is here and now. Who knows why? Maybe the body constantly fighting off the cold and stuff like tuberculosis with probably poor nutrition and smoky rooms left them vulnerable to getting brain infections from pathogens that would be benign under better circumstances.

Love the review! Every time I read this book I get more out of it. Razumikhan was so great, wasn't he? I'm so glad (view spoiler), aren't you? Rodia could have been more like him, were it not for his pride and his morbid nature, on top of his illness.


Sarah Thank you for that explanation, Tatiana! That makes much more sense.

Yes to the spoiler!


Jane People get fevers and deliriums a lot in 19th century novels. No antibiotics or really good meds to soothe the fevered brow, I guess, and any sort of infection was a real threat and therefore I expect they worried a lot more about illness and thus took any sort of bodily disturbance more seriously than we do.

My other theory is that they were influenced by the Romantic idea that a properly sensitive person should feel everything deeply, should be like a finely-tuned instrument that picked up on every vibration going around. Only clodhoppers went around in perfect good health; being prone to fevers, madness, dizziness etc. shows you're intelligent and sensitive. Jane Austen made fun of that kind of thinking, although she also demonstrates in her novels that illness could be a Real Danger To Females (do any of her men ever get ill?)


message 4: by Amelia (new)

Amelia My favorite moment was when he was serving hard time and realized he loved Sonya. Maybe this makes me a sap, but it was such a relief to know that he could feel, again. The other prisoners hated him less after that, which makes all the sense in the world.

In my experience when a guy is doing "hard time" he has a tendency to realize he loves the girl...mostly that is just due to absence and isolation. Oh, and no women to speak of. ;)


message 5: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell Was there some sort of Russian virus that lay dormant until stress levels rose?

HA, that's hilarious. And awesome.


message 6: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell Jane wrote: "she also demonstrates in her novels that illness could be a Real Danger To Females (do any of her men ever get ill?)"

Oh, such a good question. Uhhh. //thinks There's the hypochondriac Arthur? in Sanditon, but that doesn't really count, since I don't get the impression those people are actually ill. - Had to look it up: Tom Bertram falls ill in Mansfield Park partly as a result of his drinking. But that seems to be it?


Miriam Well, historically women were more likely to become ill, especially at times of stress, because they generally suffered from a greater degree of malnutrition than men did.


Jane Miriam wrote: "Well, historically women were more likely to become ill, especially at times of stress, because they generally suffered from a greater degree of malnutrition than men did."

Good point. Also they did not get nearly as much exercise as men. And I wonder how much tight corsets (tighter as the century wore on, of course) affected their ability to digest their food and, if you don't mind me mentioning it, have a good bowel movement.


Sarah This is such a great review!!! Thanks.


Sarah Thank you!


message 11: by Cass (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cass Great review. I can relate to how much you related to the main character... I was left scared when the murder took place, he had me believing I would be capable of murder.

BUT.

The part where he fell in love I hated. He was selfish and horrible. It was jealousy and possessiveness that made him love her and afterward he still believed his love was superior than hers!!


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