By Richard Peace
This Casebook is a set of interpretations of Crime and Punishment. the choice not just displays past paintings through significant critics within the box, but additionally more moderen stories. while the alternative of severe ways has been made at the foundation of overlaying the novel's quite a few facets: Dostoevsky's debt to different novelists within the eu culture; his roots as a author within the so-called "Natural tuition" of the 1840s with its emphasis at the topic of town; the thematic and symbolic constitution of the unconventional itself; the psychology of the hero; the philosophical content material of the unconventional and its courting to modern inspiration; the novel's spiritual size. This latter method has lengthy been proven in western feedback, however the essays with which the Casebook concludes are by means of glossy Russian students, who learn the radical within the mild in their personal Orthodox culture.
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Additional info for Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment: A Casebook (Casebooks in Criticism)
12. 13. , p. 16. The story of Sonya also has its role in this polemic with Chernyshevsky. Thus where he has his young intellectual, Kirsanov, rescue Nastenka Kryukova from a life of vice, Dostoevsky has his hero rescued by the prostitute. The theme of the prostitute’s moral superiority, of course, ﬁrst appeared in Notes from Underground. 14. Quoted in Evnin, p. 154. 15. , p. 156. 16. , p. 133. 17. Part III, ch. , p. 134. 18. , p. 134. 19. Grossman, “Gorod i lyudi,” p. 1. 20. See his remarks of 1862 on Les Mise´rables and Notre Dame de Paris in Poln.
As a center of trade for the capital and the surrounding region, Haymarket abounded with cheap eating houses and taverns. 6 This, then, was the Petersburg that Dostoevsky knew well and chose to depict in Crime and Punishment. Haymarket serves as background to the thoughts and actions of Raskolnikov. These two components of the novel, Raskolnikov and the city, are closely linked. The people and conditions of Haymarket are often introduced through Raskolnikov’s consciousness. For example, the novel opens with Raskolnikov’s reaction upon descending from his room onto Carpenter’s Lane on a July day: The heat on the street was terrible, and the closeness, crowds, lime everywhere, scaffolding, bricks, dust and that particular summer stench so well-known to every Petersburger who did not have the possibility of renting a summer house—all this together shook the young man’s nerves, already unsettled without it.
Raskolnikov can rationalize both the murder and his plan to rebuild Petersburg in the same terms, for they serve similar ends. The crime is conceived as a means to improve the lives of himself, his family, even the whole of mankind, while his plan for a reconstructed Petersburg has as its object the improvement of the lives of Haymarket’s inhabitants. One probable result of his plan, for example, would be to channel currents of cooler, fresher air around Haymarket by building fountains around the city, much in the same way that Napoleon built his pocket parks.