Archive for October, 2012


The Amazingly Specific Insults of Dmitri Prokovich Razumihin

October 9, 2012

This blog has been known to take enjoyment in the antiquated put-downs of classic literature (cf. “Son of a Rum Puncheon!”)…but no one matches Razumihin in the department of withering zingers.  What he lacks in brevity he makes up for in amazing specificity.  Here’s how he lays it on Raskolnikov

You are made of spermaceti ointment and you’ve lymph in your veins instead of blood.

You can’t take that back.  I probably would have just shrieked “Dickhead!!!” and started crying out of frustration.

And get your head out of the gutter it’s an ointment based on the “wax present in the head cavities of the sperm whale” (Wikipedia).  Inappropriate.

I just finished part two.  We had a return visit from Marmeladov.  My earlier assumption was that Marmeladov’s character was intended to showcase Raskolnikov’s humanity…showing the duality residing in him — at once murderer and caring individual.  In this scene Marmeladov wakes Raskolnikov from his post-murder depression/stupor/fugue state…and I guess he gives Raskolnikov another opportunity to show his better self, but I’m left questioning the full import of his character’s role.  I’m sure someone’s written about it, but I”m a glass of wine into the evening and starting to feel tired and “not carey”.

Also…maybe I’m too pedantic in my reading, but there seem to be a lot conveniences in the plotting of this book…every time this guy leaves a building he runs into another of the major characters.  When I walk around the city I almost never see anyone I know, let alone Marmeladov.

Now that Raskolnikov’s family has come for a visit, I think the real fun is going to start (and by fun I mean despair that is slightly less stultifying).