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Thread: Psycho Killer, The Russian Edition

  1. #196
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Epilogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
    A lot of people think the book should’ve ended there. But I thought the epilogue put a cherry on top. I liked it. Also I notice the people who thought the epilogue was superfluous, had already read the epilogue, so, you know…



    I am utterly puzzled as to how anyone can feel that way. To my way of thinking, it was highly significant and affirms all of what we have been discussing in these pages: that the story is one of renewal and redemption. That by confessing and purging one's soul of guilt, by adopting wholesome and regenerating Christianity, by society imposing retributive justice, by mitigation because of extenuation both in life and in the times when he was a suspect, that his confession saved society much litigation and investigatory costs (the epilogue says no actual evidence was found and that it was Rascal's detailed confession that enabled the police to find the evidence used against him in court), the fact that he did not take flight, that he had given money to save an impoverished father from bankruptcy when his son died, the fact that Rascal saved the lives of two young children and by jeopardizing his own well being in making that sacrifice, and that he genuinely was repentant ~ all these things were factors in why society imposed a relatively mild sentence.

    From my past readings of classical Russian literature, I would have thought Ras would have been condemned to the gallows. I had no expectation that mitigation would be granted and that he would have been enabled to live out his life in a serene manner with Sonia. The narrative tells us that she was accepted as a guardian angel by the prisoners whim she helped in writing letters, providing goodies, and comforting them in their grief and isolation. Dostoyevsky concludes the book by telling us that both Ras and Sonia were renewed in life and lived happily thereafter. Note how there was no talk of nihilism, of reform, of Westernizing influences of any kind. Instead, Christianity was their saving grace. This message, no doubt, is what the author was trying to convey for his readers.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  2. #197
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    What's the next opus on the group literary agenda?
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  3. #198
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    Prison

    I forgot to add the following note from the Epilogue:


    Ras indeed was ill, no question about that. While in prison there was bad food, very spartan existence, and he was forced to have his head shaved. He was ill several times and even suffered delirium. At one point he experiences an Apocalyptic vision:



    He was in the hospital from the middle of Lent till after Easter. When he was better, he remembered the dreams he had had while he was feverish and delirious. He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible new strange plague that had come to Europe from the depths of Asia. All were to be destroyed except a very few chosen. Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became at once mad and furious. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible. Whole villages, whole towns and peoples went mad from the infection. All were excited and did not understand one another. Each thought that he alone had the truth and was wretched looking at the others, beat himself on the breast, wept, and wrung his hands. They did not know how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good; they did not know whom to blame, whom to justify. Men killed each other in a sort of senseless spite. They gathered together in armies against one another, but even on the march the armies would begin attacking each other, the ranks would be broken and the soldiers would fall on each other, stabbing and cutting, biting and devouring each other. The alarm bell was ringing all day long in the towns; men rushed together, but why they were summoned and who was summoning them no one knew. The most ordinary trades were abandoned, because everyone proposed his own ideas, his own improvements, and they could not agree. The land too was abandoned. Men met in groups, agreed on something, swore to keep together, but at once began on something quite different from what they had proposed. They accused one another, fought and killed each other. There were conflagrations and famine. All men and all things were involved in destruction. The plague spread and moved further and further. Only a few men could be saved in the whole world. They were a pure chosen people, destined to found a new race and a new life, to renew and purify the earth, but no one had seen these men, no one had heard their words and their voices.



    He envisioned this nightmarish scenario but was awakened by Easter (the Christian season of resurrection) and by the vision and ultimate presence of his Savioress Sonia. She had been ill and did not come to visit. But soon her incapacity was overcome and she appeared as he was working the fields. Thereafter like a deus ex machina she provided him with the spiritual and emotional comfort he needed. Love conquers all. The rest was history ...
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  4. #199
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    C & P Influence on Modern Literature

    Article neatly summarizes what the book is all about:



    https://www.tometailor.com/articles/...ern-literature




    Crime and Punishment's Influence on Modern Literature
    05.15.2023 // By Tome Tailor

    Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1866 magnum opus, Crime and Punishment, is one of the most prominent literary works that have deeply influenced modern literature. The book explores various themes, such as morality, guilt, redemption, and the vastness of the human psyche. However, what sets the novel apart from other literary works is the profound psychological analysis of its characters, particularly the protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov. In this blog post, we will delve into how Crime and Punishment has left a lasting impact on contemporary literature and how its themes still resonate with readers today.

    Psychological Insight into the Human Condition
    The most significant influence of Crime and Punishment on modern literature lies in the insightful and meticulous exploration of the human psyche. Dostoevsky masterfully delves into the intricate labyrinth of Raskolnikov’s thoughts and emotions as he commits the crime of murder and deals with overwhelming guilt and moral dilemmas. Raskolnikov’s moral reasoning, philosophical ideas, and emotional turmoil play out on the pages, making the novel a cornerstone of psychological realism in literature.

    This innovative approach has influenced the works of countless authors, including Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf. For example, in Kafka’s The Trial, we can see shades of Raskolnikov’s unbearably complex mental state in the character of Joseph K, who battles the unknown forces of a corrupt, bureaucratic society. Also, Albert Camus’s The Stranger, and his concept of the “absurd,” can trace its origins to Dostoevsky’s existentialist viewpoints in _Crime and Punishment.

    The Portrayal of the City as a Reflection of the Human Soul
    In Crime and Punishment, the sprawling, chaotic city of St. Petersburg plays a crucial role in shaping the narrative, as well as mirroring the twisted state of Raskolnikov’s mind. The crowded streets, slums, and simmering tension lurking in the city reflect the grim, repressive atmosphere and contribute to the unsettling mood of the story.

    This portrayal of a cityscape as an extension of the characters’ inner turmoil has influenced modern literature in various ways. Writers like Charles Dickens, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf have similarly painted the city’s landscape, capturing the spirit and psyche of their characters. At the same time, they explore the city’s impact on their protagonists, exemplified in novels like Dickens’s Bleak House or Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.

    The Pivot from Good to Evil and the Quest for Redemption
    Crime and Punishment is notable for exploring the moral complexities of human actions and the struggle for redemption. Raskolnikov is initially portrayed as an intellectual but penniless individual who justifies his heinous crime by convincing himself of his superior morality. However, his escalating guilt and eventual surrender lead him to acknowledge his humanity and dependence on others, ultimately finding redemption through love and suffering with the help of the prostitute Sonya.

    This theme of good versus evil and the subsequent quest for redemption is prevalent in modern literature. In classic novels such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird or J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the theme of redemption is explored through the journeys of unconventional characters who grapple with moral dilemmas, societal expectations, and personal demons.

    In Conclusion
    Crime and Punishment’s influence on modern literature is undeniable, from the psychological exploration of its deeply flawed characters to the portrayal of the cityscape and its impact on these individuals. Themes of morality, redemption, and existentialism are also prevalent in contemporary literature as readers continue to connect with works that discuss the complexities of human nature, much like Dostoevsky’s epic masterpiece.

    Experience the enduring power and influence of Crime and Punishment yourself

    Recommended Articles:
    Crime and Punishment - In-Depth Analysis and Themes
    5 Books Like Crime and Punishment: Gripping Tales of Morality and Redemption
    The Mind of Raskolnikov: Psychological Studies of Crime and Punishment’s Protagonist
    Religion and Philosophy in Crime and Punishment
    Fyodor Dostoevsky: Life and Works Beyond Crime and Punishment
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  5. #200
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    I think there are a number of reasons people don’t like the epilogue.

    The first one that comes to mind is what I’ll call the Walter Sobchak theory. That is, we’ve just gone through 500 some odd pages of Raskol’s inner struggle, the crime and then the punishment, and then in the epilogue he has an epiphany and is redeemed!? No way, man! This book is called Crime and Punishment, not Crime and Punishment and Redemption. This ain’t Vietnam, man! This is literature. Literature has rules, Dude!

    The second is sort of related to the first. The whole book, the whole universe converges on one, crystal clear moment of clarity for Raskol — his confession. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s the perfect denouement. Why muck it up with — Later, in Siberia…

    Another is, maybe, just maybe, readers want to decide for themselves what happens to Raskol and Sonya after he confesses. Some people think Dostoevsky is pushing his churchy views a little too hard in the epilogue.

    Me? Again, I liked the epilogue, but then El Sancho has always been a sucker for a happy ending. So to speak.

    So what will be our next reading project? Hmmm. I have some ideas. But first, what do you-all think?
    Uhhhh...

  6. #201
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    I also liked the epilogue. You have some good ideas on why some may not like it but, heck, it was Dosto's work and he can do as he pleases. Literature is a living thing. Many events can happen that may not be obvious but are often hinted at.

    Recall the classic movie The Third Man by Graham Greene. In the book/movie Holly Martins kills Harry Lime. But did he actually do so as the writer Graham Greene indicated at the end of both? No he did not. In 1959 (12 years after the movie and book came out) Harry Lime suddenly appears in modern day Europe - alive and in living color! And the tv story was written by Greene:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Man_(TV_series)

    Watch the movie very carefully and you will see that it contained many clues which will make you believe Martins did not kill Lime.


    As for the next possible opus, have you read Stephen Crane's classic Maggie, A Girl of the Streets? It was one of my all time faves. Very anti Romantic. Was censored back in the early 1890s because of its realism.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  7. #202
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    New Reading Project

    Sounds hep to me. The only book I’ve read by Stephen Crane is Red Badge of Courage. I know nothing about Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, so it sounds like fun. When you mentioned it, the first thing that came popped into my head was Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders. What would you-all think about reading these two books in tandem? Bonus — they’re both in the public domain, so, free to download, woo-hoo. El Sancho digs free stuff.

    The full title of Defoe’s book is:

    The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, & c.
    Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu’d Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv’d Honest, and dies a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums . . .

    If the rest of the book is anything like the title, it’s gotta be good.
    Uhhhh...

  8. #203
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    I started to read Moll but didn't like it. Reading two at a time might be too much for a dottering, low energy old timer like me. But perhaps after Maggie. Of course, you can get a head start on it and I'll follow along until I catch up as Crane's book is actually quite brief ~ 90 pages or so ~ and can readily be read in a sitting or two.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  9. #204
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    Dostoyevsky's St Petersburg




    DOSTOEVSKY'S ST PETERSBURG | Crime and Punishment locations


    Miss Elena says, This video is about Fyodor Dostoyevsky and the part of St Petersburg where he lived and where his great novels were written. This part of the city used to be inhabited by criminals and poor people. It's scary and mystical but at the same time attractive in a way. I will tell you about the life of Dostoyevsky in St Petersburg and will show you the spots where the main events of Crime and Punishment took place.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

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