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671 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1866
He took the axe all the way out, swung it with both hands, scarcely aware of himself, and almost without effort...brought the butt-end down on her head...Because she was short, the blow happened to land right on the crown of her head. She cried out, but very faintly, and her whole body suddenly sank to the floor, though she still managed to raise both hands to her head...Then he struck her again and yet again with all his strength...Blood poured out as from an overturned glass...
In that case, go and tell the authorities; say thus and so, I've had this mishap: there was a little mistake in my theory. But if you're convinced that one cannot eavesdrop at doors, but can go around whacking old crones with whatever comes to hand, to your heart's content, then leave quickly for America somewhere!
“Para vosotros, en todas las circunstancias, lo primero es hacer lo posible para no pareceros al hombre.”El objetivo de Dostoyevski al escribir «Crimen y castigo» fue luchar contra el éxito que el nihilismo estaba teniendo entre la juventud de su época y sus, para él, funestas consecuencias. Para ello, el autor, como en él es característico, estructura una historia en torno a unos personajes que encarnan diversas variaciones de ese mal que se impuso combatir. Estos individuos no tienen por qué despertarnos antipatía, incluso pueden inspirarnos compasión y hacernos comprender sus actos sin que por ello los aprobemos. En fin, intenta ser justo en el debate.
-Piotr Petróvich Luzhin, un arribista capaz de todo por subir en el escalafón social sin respeto a nada ni a nadie. Este, obviamente, no es un personaje simpático y su destino en la obra dará más de una alegría al lector.Esta es la píldora nihilista a tragar, una discusión que puede ser entendida como un cuestionamiento de la moral y así lo interpretaron muchos existencialistas que admiraron su obra. El azúcar que envuelve la píldora para así mejor tragar está compuesto de un poco de novela social, el propio crimen, la consiguiente investigación policial a cargo de un precedente del detective Colombo, aquel entrañable personaje protagonizado por Peter Falk, y, por supuesto, el infierno mental al que se tiene que enfrentar Raskolnikov al descubrir fracasado su experimento.
-Andrei Semenovich, un joven bienintencionado, algo arrogante y no muy inteligente que se encarga de proclamar uno de los principios más importantes y necesarios para el futuro paraíso socialista, a saber, “Todo lo hace el medio, el hombre en sí no es nada”, y como no es nada, puede serlo todo, cualquier cosa que nos propongamos.
-Arcadio Ivánovich Svidrigáilov, un cínico sin escrúpulos, un vividor con la inteligencia necesaria para salir indemne de sus delitos y cuya moral se circunscribe a su egoísta placer.
- Por último, cerrando el cuarteto, el personaje más importante, el imborrable Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, un orgulloso racionalista que intenta probar mediante un crimen su supuesta libertad ilimitada, su pertenencia al selecto grupo de hombres extraordinarios capaces de sobreponerse a sí mismos, de imponer sus reglas, despreciando al amplio “hormiguero” seguidor ciego de la moral imperante. Una persona sensible, generosa y valiente aunque un tanto huraña, inteligente pero sin recursos económicos para proseguir su carrera intelectual que se presumía brillante.
“Si alguien me demostrara que Cristo está fuera de la verdad, si estuviera positivamente demostrado que la verdad está fuera de Cristo, yo preferiría permanecer con Cristo que permanecer con la verdad.” Fiódor DostoyevskiSi aún sigue pensando que Dostoyevski es pesado, aburrido o difícil… tan amigos que ni comisión me llevo.
“Crime? What crime? ... My killing a loathsome, harmful louse, a filthy old moneylender woman who brought no good to anyone, to murder whom would pardon forty sins, who sucked the lifeblood of the poor, and you call that a crime ?”Just a few scattered toughts, for I do not know how to begin. After revisiting Crime and Punishment I am utterly troubled. What to do? What to say? In my opinion, to write a review of one of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's great masterpieces is a troublesome undertaking. To write a decent one, even harder. So here are just a few toughts, backed by Dostoyevsky's own words so that I don't blunder it all. One caveat: my review today will focus on Rodion Románovich Raskolnikov, although there is much more to be said.
“Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion became more and more intense. As he went down the stairs, he even stopped short, two or three times, as though suddenly struck by some thought. When he was in the street he cried out, "Oh, God, how loathsome it all is! and can I, can I possibly… . No, it's nonsense, it's rubbish!" he added resolutely. "And how could such an atrocious thing come into my head? What filthy things my heart is capable of. Yes, filthy above all, disgusting, loathsome, loathsome!—and for a whole month I've been… ." But no words, no exclamations, could express his agitation. The feeling of intense repulsion, which had begun to oppress and torture his heart while he was on his way to the old woman, had by now reached such a pitch and had taken such a definite form that he did not know what to do with himself to escape from his wretchedness. ”
“No, I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Granted, granted that there is no flaw in all that reasoning, that all that I have concluded this last month is clear as day, true as arithmetic… . My God! Anyway I couldn't bring myself to it! I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Why, why then am I still … ?”
"And you don’t suppose that I went into it headlong like a fool? I went into it like a wise man, and that was just my destruction. And you mustn't suppose that I didn't know, for instance, that if I began to question myself whether I had the right to gain power—I certainly hadn't the right—or that if I asked myself whether a human being is a louse it proved that it wasn't so for me, though it might be for a man who would go straight to his goal without asking questions.… If I worried myself all those days, wondering whether Napoleon would have done it or not, I felt clearly of course that I wasn't Napoleon. I had to endure all the agony of that battle of ideas, Sonia, and I longed to throw it off: I wanted to murder without casuistry, to murder for my own sake, for myself alone! I didn't want to lie about it even to myself. It wasn't to help my mother I did the murder—that’s nonsense—I didn't do the murder to gain wealth and power and to become a benefactor of mankind. Nonsense! I simply did it; I did the murder for myself, for myself alone, and whether I became a benefactor to others, or spent my life like a spider, catching men in my web and sucking the life out of men, I couldn't have cared at that moment.… And it was not the money I wanted, Sonia, when I did it. It was not so much the money I wanted, but something else.… I know it all now.… Understand me! Perhaps I should never have committed a murder again. I wanted to find out something else; it was something else led me on. I wanted to find out then and quickly whether I was a louse like everybody else or a man. Whether I can step over barriers or not, whether I dare stoop to pick up or not, whether I am a trembling creature or whether I have the right …”
“Guess,” he said, with his former twisted and powerless smile.