I’m revisiting Dostoyevsky’s Crime And Punishment. It’s completely different than when I read it in college; and when I read portions of it in an old Britannica version a few years back. (You know, the book collections people used to sell door-to door? That version of Crime and Punishment was included in the same book with Robinson Crusoe.)
Miki bought it recently here in St. Petersburg, and her reaction after finishing the book prompted me to look at it again. She walked in our bedroom in tears- I didn’t recall being moved by ol’ Fyodor in that way when I read it before. So instead of just attributing it to pregnancy hormones, I decided to pick it up for a refresher course.
It is a very different book now- we live and walk the streets that Dostoyevsky is writing about. This book is haunting and fragile. I’m already overwhelmed at page 18. It makes me want to call my literature professor at U.G.A., tell her she was completely wrong about her interpretations of the book and that I want her to revisit my grade on my book report! (Not because my interpretation was right, but because she was as wrong as I was)
If you haven’t read it, please do and let me know what you think. To quote Ferris Bueller: “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”
Then come to Russia and read it again!
I’ll leave you with the words of Marmeladov the drunk talking about Jesus:
“You too come forth,’ He will say. ‘Come forth, ye drunkards, come forth ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of shame!’ And we shall all come forth, without shame and shall stand before Him. And He will say unto us, ‘Ye are swine, made in the image of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!’ And the wise ones and those of understanding will say, ‘Oh Lord, why dost Thou receive these men?’ And He will say, ‘This is why I receive them, oh ye wise, this is why I receive them, oh ye of understanding, that not one of them believed himself to be worthy of this.’ And He will hold out His hands to us and we shall fall down before Him … and we shall weep … and we shall understand all things!”