Crime and Punishment

By Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Sidney Monas (Translator); Robin Feuer Miller (Afterword by)
(Signet Classics, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780451530066, 536pp.)

Publication Date: March 2006

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Description

One of the world’s greatest novels, Crime and Punishment is the story of a murder and its consequences—an unparalleled tale of suspense set in the midst of nineteenth-century Russia’s troubled transition to the modern age.

In the slums of czarist St. Petersburg lives young Raskolnikov, a sensitive, intellectual student. The poverty he has always known drives him to believe that he is exempt from moral law. But when he puts this belief to the test and commits murder, there results unbearable suffering. Crime and punishment, the novel reminds us, “grow from the same seed.”

“No other novelist,” wrote Irving Howe of Dostoyevsky, “has dramatized so powerfully the values and dangers, the uses and corruptions of systematized thought.” But Sigmund Freud and others saw the Russian’s work in a different light. Said Freud, “He might have been a liberator of mankind. Instead he chose to be its jailer.”

“He is the only psychologist I have anything to learn from.”—Friedrich Nietzsche




About the Author
Fyodor Dostoyevsky was a Russian novelist, short story writer and essayist whose literary works explored human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual context of nineteenth-century Russia. A student of the the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute, Dostoyevsky initially worked as an engineer, but began translating books to earn extra money. The publication of his first novel, Poor Folk, allowed him to join St. Petersburg s literary circles. A prolific writer, Dostoyevsky is best known for work from the latter part of his career, including the classic novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoyevsky s influence extends to authors as diverse as Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, and Jean-Paul Sartre, among many others. He died in 1881.

Sidney Monas is Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and History at the University of Texas at Austin.

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