Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment – F.M. Dostoievski

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Translated by Constance Garnett with an Introduction and Notes by Dr Keith Carabine University of Kent at Canterbury. Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest and most readable novels ever written. From the beginning we are locked into the frenzied consciousness of Raskolnikov who against his better instincts is inexorably drawn to commit a brutal double murder. From that moment on we share his conflicting feelings of self-loathing and pride of contempt for and need of others and of terrible despair and hope of redemption: and in a remarkable transformation of the detective novel we follow his agonised efforts to probe and confront both his own motives for and the consequences of his crime. The result is a tragic novel built out of a series of supremely dramatic scenes that illuminate the eternal conflicts at the heart of human existence: most especially our desire for self-expression and self-fulfilment as against the constraints of morality and human laws and our agonised awareness of the world’s harsh injustices and of our own mortality as against the mysteries of divine justice and immortality.