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Crime and Punishment (07 Edition)by Fyodor Dostoecsky
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Few authors have been as personally familiar with desperation as Fyodor Dostoevsky, and none have been so adept at describing it. Crime and Punishment—the novel that heralded the authors period of masterworks—tells the story of the poor and talented student Raskolnikov, a character of unparalleled psychological depth and complexity. Raskolnikov reasons that men like himself, by virtue of their intellectual superiority, can and must transcend societal law. To test his theory, he devises the perfect crime—the murder of a spiteful pawnbroker living in St. Petersburg.
In one of the most gripping crime stories of all time, Raskolnikov soon realizes the folly of his abstractions. Haunted by vivid hallucinations and the torments of his conscience, he seeks relief from his terror and moral isolation—first from Sonia, the pious streetwalker who urges him to confess, then in a tense game of cat and mouse with Porfiry, the brilliant magistrate assigned to the murder investigation. A tour de force of suspense, Crime and Punishment delineates the theories and motivations that underlie a bankrupt morality.
Priscilla Meyer is Professor of Russian Language and Literature at Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut. She published Find What the Sailor Has Hidden, the first monograph on Vladimir Nabokovs Pale Fire, and edited the first English translation of Andrei Bitovs collection of short stories, Life in Windy Weather.
The first of Dostoevsky's masterworks, Crime and Punishment presents the powerful story of Raskolnikov, who reasons that intellectually "superior" men like himself can and must transcend conventional moral law. To test his theory, he devises the perfect murder. What follows is a nightmare world of bitterness and torment, and one of the most gripping crime stories of all time.
Dostoevsky's characters are unbelievably, almost painfully fleshed out, leading the German romantic philosopher Friedrich Netzsche to proclaim: Dostoevsky [is] the only psychologist, incidentally, from whom I had something to learn; he ranks among the most beautiful strokes of fortune in my life. In addition to the tormented killer Raskolnikov, Crime and Punishment introduces Porfiry, the brilliant investigator assigned to the murder case, and Sonia, a despoiled but pious woman devoted to Raskolnikov. Through his interactions with these two apparent opposites, Raskolnikov confronts his conscience, and learns that only through suffering can one find true happiness.
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