Monday, September 11, 2006

Yikes! + Book Club of One, Part 3 - Crime and Punishment

Well, now we know what happens when my computer breaks down, I open a show, and feel uninspired in the course of a week or two: no posts. No writing actually. I need to fix that. Here goes, from Jason's computer.

I finished Crime and Punishment a couple days ago. I really don't think I have anything to say that hasn't been said many many times before me. It is an incredible book. I enjoyed it immensely. More than I thought I would, actually.

The book follows Raskolnikov as he plans, carries out, and meditates on a murder of two women. One victim is an old woman, "a foul, noxious louse! An old pawnbroker woman no good to anybody, who sucked the life juices of the poor . . ." in Raskolnikov's words. She is Raskolnikov's intended victim. The one he owes money too, the one he justifies killing. The second is a young woman, Lizaveta, the old woman's sister, who happens upon the murderer just after he has committed the crime. The bloody axe and the dead woman are two good indications to Lizaveta that the man standing in front of her (Raskolnikov) is the murderer. Thus, she is R's second victim.

For this second swing of the axe, Raskolnikov does feel a twinge of regret (please correct me if I'm wrong). But R never feels remorse for the old woman's death. In fact, at times he feels justified.

We spend most of the novel inside R's head, which Dostoevsky uses to great effect. First, we see the psychology of murder, the reasoning of the murderer, and the effects the murder has on the murderer. Secondly, and more importantly, we identify with him. We see how he came to the murder. We see how he got there and a chance that he could come back. The book ends with Raskolnikov in jail and the prospect of a new, possibly heroic Raskolnikov (altered by love - another main character saved by love? what is this?)

I think I'll stop there, before I turn this into a Lit paper. I've started a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel (I think it's the only full-length novel of his that I haven't read), Of Love and Other Demons. Marquez is one of my favorite authors, and the premise promises an enjoyable, thought provoking read. It focuses on the love affair between a priest and a young girl.

Hopefully, I'll find more time now that the show is open. Though we're starting another one tomorrow. Oh well. I'll write whenever I can. Wish me luck with MY computer.

1 comment:

Adam Elend said...

I miss your blog. It's really good.