Archive for September, 2012

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Obsession

September 21, 2012

I can’t stop being fixated by the size of Raskolnikov’s room!  We get this description:

Mistrustfully and with an affectation of being alarmed and almost affronted, he [Luzhin] scanned Raskolnikov’s low and narrow “cabin.”

Sounds tiny, right?  But then by my count there are five people in the room: Raskolnikov (in bed), Razumihin, Zossimov, Luzhin, and (I think, in the corner) Nastasya.  And three of them (Razumihin, Zossimov and Luzhin) are sitting–that means three sitting platforms in addition to the bed…it’s now sounding practically palatial.  But remember he can reach the door from his room.  Maybe it’s some kind psychadelic “breathing” room, expanding and contracting, expanding and contracting.

Or it’s just a normal room that I can’t picture well.  I don’t have a good imagination.

I still don’t understand what puts Raskolnikov in such a snit about Luzhin.  He seems like an okay guy to me…but he can’t do anything right in the eyes of Raskolnikov.

But then again Raskolnikov murdered an old lady, so maybe we shouldn’t trust his emotional intelligence.

Fun fact!  We learn here (Part II, Chapter V) what Raskolnikov’s first name is…Rodion.  So next time you play Trivial Pursuit and the answer is “Raskolnikov” you can say “Rodion Raskolnikov” or even “Rodion Romanovich Roskolnikov” or if you’re feeling cool “R Cubed” and when your opponents look confused you can say with a withering look of disbelief “uh…Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, you know the most famous anti-hero of literature.”  However you say it what you’ll be saying is “I’ve read Crime and Punishment” (we won’t tell them about your lack of blog posts).

Well either “I’ve read Crime and Punishment” or “I’m a pedantic ass.”

Potato, Potato.

Jon

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Guilt By Association

September 16, 2012

Whoa…time to blow the cobwebs off my copy of C&P.  This weekend I have watched two movies (Arbitrage and Rope) where the protagonist(s) is the purveyor of a crime.  As I watched Richard Gere fleece Graydon Carter and Farley Granger sweat under the disappointed moue of Jimmy Stewart I realized I’d been neglecting the goings-on of that other protagonistic criminal, Roskolnikov, and decided to find my copy of the book.

One quick side note about Rope….John Dall looks a lot like the actor Ben Affleck.  I found it distracting.  I just kept thinking “Wow, Ben Affleck could play John Dall in the The John Dall Story!”

One more side note about Rope…Constance Collier and Cedric Hardwicke walk away with that film…so good.

But I digress about Rope…back to books.  Much of section two has focused largely on Roskolnikov in bed.  So far we’ve had about forty solid pages of hallucinatory lying about.  My working hypothesis is that this is where Dostoevsky metes out Punishment to the reader (Our crime?  Undisclosed, but I’m betting it’s “hope”).  But things have started to pick up now that Roskolnikov’s friend (?) Razumihin (I know I haven’t read this book for a while…but where did this character come from??) recounts the latest developments in “The Case of the Murdered Pawnbroker” to Roskolnikov as he lolls.

In this recounting we learn that the head of the Investigation Department is Porfiry Petrovich.  This was also the first name and patronymic of the protagonist of a series of mysteries I read in high school Stuart M. Kaminsky‘s Rostnikov novels (well worth a read!–I’m thinking I’ll re-familiarize myself with those soon)…so that was a pleasant literary daisy chain! (for me…possibly boring for you).

A tall dark stranger just entered the text when I stopped reading this afternoon…so I’m thinking (and, for the love of goodness, hoping) that the action is going to pick up.  I’ll keep you posted.

Jon