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Thread: Psycho Killer, The Russian Edition

  1. #136
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    can both the iliad and odyssey start with "it was a dark and stormy night?"

    or dostoesvky was the original alexei navalny.

    theres another facet to the universal stories concept I find fascinating, the idea of Jungian archetypes. I think I have mentioned them before and I love reading about them. I wonder about the relationship between the two.

    here are a few informative peeks to maybe whet the appetite:

    https://blog.reedsy.com/12-common-ch...-already-know/

    https://conorneill.com/2018/04/21/un...an-archetypes/

    https://www.learning-mind.com/12-archetypes/

    I have thought for years that analyzing song lyrics and categorizing by type within genre would be really interesting.

    im just about to start part V chapter 1. the previous section ended with raskol getting a sort of "reprieve" when he figured out Russian columbo really doesn't have evidence of his involvement in the murders.
    Last edited by bounty; 02-20-2024 at 08:25 AM.

  2. #137
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    danik, I think one of the fun tensions about raskol is indeed that of guilt and repentance but its also one of the innate value of human life. despite raskols irreligiousity, despite his intellectual arguing to the contrary, the question arises of is his anxiety coming from a position of just not wanting to get caught, or rather one from his knowing indeed he has done something wrong. the book seems to have a fair deal of both.

  3. #138
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    To Danik’s point, (I’ll echo a lot of what bounty said),

    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I think, since there exist values at all one of the basic narratives literature is reproducing again and again is this fight between good and evil in a multiplicity of forms.

    I don´t know if the notions of guilt and repentance were introduced together with the idea of Religion. It probably was and it is one of the recurring Themes of Dostoevsky.

    In "Crime and Prejudice" some of the characters seem to serve as a sort of guides to Raskol in his fight between guilt and repentance. One of them is this detective Porfiry, who seems to have come of a Freudian school of psychoanalysis rather than the police.

    During the punishment phase (section 2 and beyond), Raskol is frantically and at times despairingly searching for a way out. He went into the murder with the idea that the “thinking class” is above the law and since Alyona contributes to the suffering of the poor, taking her out is justified. He seems to be taking Nietzsche’s idea of the Ubermensch to the extreme, like the Nazis did a couple of generations later. Anyway once the murder is done and he has broken man’s law, the full weight of natural law is upon him. He feels guilt immediately, but I think repentance (and maybe redemption) comes later. I’m not sure it’s so much an idea of religion as an idea of the divine, or God with a capital G.

    Great links, bounty. From your earlier post I immediately began thinking about exactly that — archetypal characters in literature (right after thinking about the perfect country and western song anyway). I think Hollywood writers and song writers can plug-and-chug typical characters into their scripts and verses, but one of the things that makes literature interesting is when a character breaks free of typical behavior and does something truly interesting.

    Dostoevsky gives us archetypes, but that’s only a starting point. Then things get interesting. I found a lot of his characters are ripe for comparison. I’m thinking here initially of Raskol and Svidrigailov. Both commit crimes, but only Raskol has guilt over it. Svid’ is an atypical character and an amoral actor, and yet is somehow charming. The chapters with Raskol and Svidrigailov I came away from with a creepy, dark feeling. By contrast the chapter with the second big meet-up between Raskol and Porfiry (Part 6 Chapter 2) I came away from with a tremendous feeling of good will.

    Full disclosure, I finished the book last night and now I’m kinda going back over it in an effort to understand it. I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers.
    Uhhhh...

  4. #139
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    heck i have gone from being ~5 chapters behind to 170 pages!

  5. #140
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Ah well, last night was a dark and stormy night… Come to think of it, in western Washington this time of year they’re all dark and stormy nights, and that’s good reading weather.
    Uhhhh...

  6. #141
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bounty View Post
    danik, I think one of the fun tensions about raskol is indeed that of guilt and repentance but its also one of the innate value of human life. despite raskols irreligiousity, despite his intellectual arguing to the contrary, the question arises of is his anxiety coming from a position of just not wanting to get caught, or rather one from his knowing indeed he has done something wrong. the book seems to have a fair deal of both.
    I fully agree with you, bounty, but I'm afraid these values are changing. I one looks at the murders commited today and the international wars ( any of them) where the civil population is merciless killed there seems not much room for feelings of guilt and less still of repentance. If Dosto came back in the 21. C he would be surely horrified. And that having witnessed one or another thing in his days.
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  7. #142
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    "During the punishment phase (section 2 and beyond), Raskol is frantically and at times despairingly searching for a way out. He went into the murder with the idea that the “thinking class” is above the law and since Alyona contributes to the suffering of the poor, taking her out is justified. He seems to be taking Nietzsche’s idea of the Ubermensch to the extreme, like the Nazis did a couple of generations later. Anyway once the murder is done and he has broken man’s law, the full weight of natural law is upon him. He feels guilt immediately, but I think repentance (and maybe redemption) comes later. I’m not sure it’s so much an idea of religion as an idea of the divine, or God with a capital G."

    Maybe one of the things about Raskol and that is his undoing is that he is very theoretical about committing a crime. He reminds me of those haters of the social nets today. The danger is when the imaginary crime becomes a real crime for then there is no going back. But a true feeling of guilt and a genuine repentance reveal a soul that can still be healed. Unfortunately, as I commented with bounty these feelings seem to be changing or even vanishing.
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  8. #143
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Going from a theoretical crime to a real crime ... there's the rub, eh? Raskol is smart enough to identify a social ill and one of its causes — poverty and predatory lending — but then he's stupid enough to act on it in the particular way he did — taking an axe to an old lady. And you just can't stuff that toothpaste back into the tube.

    He's not the only one who's had this thought. Early on in the book, before he's committed the murders, he overhears a conversation in a tavern between two guys who are discussing the exact thing he's considering. They're asking each other if all the good that will arise from killing Alyona the pawn broker is enough to wipe out the bad of the crime. They seem to come to the conclusion that — yeah, it probably would. But then one asks the other — so, you gonna do it? And the answer is — naw, man, rack em up. Let's play pool. (F**k it, Dude, let's go bowling) According the the notes in my book, this was a popular thought experiment of the day put forth by the German philosopher, Hegel. In my world, you can have a ton of "atta-boys" but they all get wiped out with one "awe-sh*t". So I'm gonna have to go with the analysis of the pool-room boys (or Walter in The Big Lebowski).

    But to go back to my earlier (clumsy) metaphor, you can't stuff the toothpaste back into the tube. Or maybe you can, but it's gonna take divine intervention, and that seems to be a large concern of the book from here on out.
    Uhhhh...

  9. #144
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    Hoi Polloi

    All my life I have always been a humongous fan of the Three Stooges. Throughout their long career they made several episodes that revolved around the issue of heredity vs environment such as in Hoi Polloi:




    Evidently, the issue was a big matter during the time that C & P took place. Raz and Rascal appear before Petrovich. Raz says "we are all fool". What follows is a blurb that deals with the Hoi Polloi issue:



    Part III Ch V:



    Whether there is such a thing as crime. I told you that we talked our heads off.”

    “What is there strange? It’s an everyday social question,” Raskolnikov answered casually.

    “The question wasn’t put quite like that,” observed Porfiry.

    “Not quite, that’s true,” Razumihin agreed at once, getting warm and hurried as usual. “Listen, Rodion, and tell us your opinion, I want to hear it. I was fighting tooth and nail with them and wanted you to help me. I told them you were coming…. It began with the socialist doctrine. You know their doctrine; crime is a protest against the abnormality of the social organisation and nothing more, and nothing more; no other causes admitted!...”

    “You are wrong there,” cried Porfiry Petrovitch; he was noticeably animated and kept laughing as he looked at Razumihin, which made him more excited than ever.

    “Nothing is admitted,” Razumihin interrupted with heat.

    “I am not wrong. I’ll show you their pamphlets. Everything with them is ‘the influence of environment,’ and nothing else. Their favourite phrase! From which it follows that, if society is normally organised, all crime will cease at once, since there will be nothing to protest against and all men will become righteous in one instant. Human nature is not taken into account, it is excluded, it’s not supposed to exist! They don’t recognise that humanity, developing by a historical living process, will become at last a normal society, but they believe that a social system that has come out of some mathematical brain is going to organise all humanity at once and make it just and sinless in an instant, quicker than any living process! That’s why they instinctively dislike history, ‘nothing but ugliness and stupidity in it,’ and they explain it all as stupidity! That’s why they so dislike the living process of life; they don’t want a living soul! The living soul demands life, the soul won’t obey the rules of mechanics, the soul is an object of suspicion, the soul is retrograde! But what they want though it smells of death and can be made of India-rubber, at least is not alive, has no will, is servile and won’t revolt! And it comes in the end to their reducing everything to the building of walls and the planning of rooms and passages in a phalanstery! The phalanstery* is ready, indeed, but your human nature is not ready for the phalanstery—it wants life, it hasn’t completed its vital process, it’s too soon for the graveyard! You can’t skip over nature by logic. Logic presupposes three possibilities, but there are millions! Cut away a million, and reduce it all to the question of comfort! That’s the easiest solution of the problem! It’s seductively clear and you musn’t think about it. That’s the great thing, you mustn’t think! The whole secret of life in two pages of print!”

    “Now he is off, beating the drum! Catch hold of him, do!” laughed Porfiry. “Can you imagine,” he turned to Raskolnikov, “six people holding forth like that last night, in one room, with punch as a preliminary! No, brother, you are wrong, environment accounts for a great deal in crime; I can assure you of that.”






    To this day, the conflict has never been fully concluded.





    *phalanstery - utopian housing complex
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  10. #145
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Legalize Shemp!

    Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk

    I tell ya, that story never gets old, and neither do The Stooges. I used to love watching The Stooges in Latin America — Los Tres Idiotos. They’re even funnier in Spanish.

    One thing I noticed in C&P was social distance with regard to class. I’m pretty sure Porfiry was playing him for a confession, but he seems to defer a lot to the young gentleman, Raskol. And Raskol of course is consistently talking down to the detective. So the socialists want to tear down the class-based society. And democracies are built on equality, one man one vote. Does Pygmalion work in a modern society? Well, sure it does:

    “Looking good Billy Ray.”
    “Feeling good Louis.”

    (Ackroyd and Murphy in Trading Places, where money is the class distinction)

    Ya know what else never gets old? The canapés/can-o-peas schtick.
    Uhhhh...

  11. #146

  12. #147
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Dream?

    Was this a dream?

    Rascal is stalked by a mysterious character who utters, "Murderer ... You are a murderer ... " and then he vanishes into thin air.

    Immediately thereafter Rascal finds himself on his sofa. "He thought of nothing. Some thoughts or fragments of thoughts, some images without order or coherence floated before his mind—faces of people he had seen in his childhood or met somewhere once, whom he would never have recalled, the belfry of the church at V., the billiard table in a restaurant and some officers playing billiards, the smell of cigars in some underground tobacco shop, a tavern room, a back staircase quite dark, all sloppy with dirty water and strewn with egg-shells, and the Sunday bells floating in from somewhere…. The images followed one another, whirling like a hurricane."

    Now comes Razumihin who says "Don’t disturb him! Let him sleep. "

    Rascal continues to descend and rants even more: "At moments he felt he was raving. He sank into a state of feverish excitement. “The old woman is of no consequence,” he thought, hotly and incoherently. “The old woman was a mistake perhaps, but she is not what matters! The old woman was only an illness…. I was in a hurry to overstep…. I didn’t kill a human being, but a principle! I killed the principle, but I didn’t overstep, I stopped on this side…. I was only capable of killing. And it seems I wasn’t even capable of that… Principle? Why was that fool Razumihin abusing the socialists? They are industrious, commercial people; ‘the happiness of all’ is their case. No, life is only given to me once and I shall never have it again; I don’t want to wait for ‘the happiness of all.’ I want to live myself, or else better not live at all. I simply couldn’t pass by my mother starving, keeping my rouble in my pocket while I waited for the ‘happiness of all.’ I am putting my little brick into the happiness of all and so my heart is at peace. Ha-ha! Why have you let me slip? I only live once, I too want…. Ech, I am an æsthetic louse and nothing more,” he added suddenly, laughing like a madman. “Yes, I am certainly a louse,” he went on, clutching at the idea, gloating over it and playing with it with vindictive pleasure. “In the first place, because I can reason that I am one, and secondly, because for a month past I have been troubling benevolent Providence, calling it to witness that not for my own fleshly lusts did I undertake it, but with a grand and noble object—ha-ha!"

    Such rants are not normal but are, instead, indicative of sick mindedness. And yet, he had enough rationality to defend the socialists who, he felt, had the best of intentions for society. Further, he considers Christian ideals as a means of justifying his actions.

    Evidently, the word "murderer" was from a dream. Or was it? "“Is it still a dream?” he wondered." IIRC from my previous reading it was not a dream. But Dostoyevsky's writing style is so clever that he makes it appear as if it was so. One clear thing is that Rascal has a sick mind.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  13. #148
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Dreams-Schreams

    Oh yeah, he is quite the clever writer. More than once I felt like a fish taking the bait and running for the reeds while somebody yells FISH ON, and Fyodor’s on the boat with a rod, paying out the line.

    Three dreams immediately come to mind that’d be fun to compare:

    At first I thought he was dreaming when the guy in the street called him a murderer, but then he goes home, falls asleep, and has a dream about the murder/social intervention.

    Earlier I thought he was remembering an actual event from his childhood when he dreamed of the old draft horse getting beaten in the streets.

    Finally there’s the dream in the epilogue of a dystopian future, a nightmare really.

    (Danik, the final dream tells me maybe he wouldn’t be so surprised at the shenanigans of the present day)

    (Bounty, hahaha, “well, they’re 3 kinda funny-looking guys who hit each other a lot”)
    Uhhhh...

  14. #149
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    i will show you the stooges.

    im partway through chapter 3, late into the after-funeral dinner party, and luzhin has just appeared on the scene and...poppin, would I spoil it for you if I say anything?

  15. #150
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bounty View Post
    i will show you the stooges.

    im partway through chapter 3, late into the after-funeral dinner party, and luzhin has just appeared on the scene and...poppin, would I spoil it for you if I say anything?

    fire away ...
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

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