Synopses & Reviews
Crime and Punishment
, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics
series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics
- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
- Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
- Bibliographies for further reading
- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics
pulls together a constellation of influencesbiographical, historical, and literaryto enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. 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 masterworkstells 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 crimethe 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 isolationfirst 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.
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.
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.