Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crime and Punishment

Dostoyevsky has more appeal than Tolstoy for my reading tastes. It might be the less aristocratic origins and prison term in his personal story that make him more appealing. It is as if Dostoyevsky wasn't just writing about the normal Ivans of Russia, he actually knew them. Crime and Punishment is a labor to read but very engaging. It's a fantastic book that describes the poor, the middle class, the strivers and the connivers. It spotlights and mocks the socialists at times, and it mocks those who only think of their achievement and gain. It feels real and objective.

It also discusses through conversations and the occasional inner monologue the idea of murder. There is that Nietzchean superman idea that murder can be OK for those who are above the morality of regular people and that the ends can justify the means. How can you tell who is a superman and who is not? They are few in number, and of course, a person might instinctively think they belong to that group. This book plays with that idea and will hopefully make you think.

No comments: