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Crime and Punishment. Fyodor Dostoevsky Written in 1865-1866 St. Petersburg, Russia. The Life of Dostoevsky. Born one of six children in Moscow in 1821 Fyodor was emotionally troubled and alienated friends with his moods

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Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Written in 1865-1866

St. Petersburg, Russia


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The Life of Dostoevsky

  • Born one of six children in Moscow in 1821

  • Fyodor was emotionally troubled and alienated friends with his moods

  • After quitting the military, he began writing about his own youth which was full of misery, isolation and insecurity.

  • First bestseller was Poor Folk- it was admired for its character study and romantic socialism


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Troubled Times

  • Arrested in 1849 for his reckless socialistic articles and condemned to die by firing squad

  • Saved by the tsar, he was instead sentenced to 4 years of hard labor in Siberia.

  • This further contributed to his fears and alienation and he developed epilepsy.

  • In 1853 he experienced a religious conversion.

  • He began a socialist newspaper and once more received unfavorable criticism


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Crime and Punishment

  • Poor and reduced to begging, Fyodor began writing C and P.

  • It was serialized in The Russian Messenger and appeared in English 4 years later.

  • Returned to St. Petersburg and became a literary idol.

  • Died in 1881 of a epileptic seizure.


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About the Novel

  • Setting – the Russian city of St. Petersburg and a prison in Siberia

  • Third person omniscient

  • Psychological novel- Raskolnikov’s tortured psychological punishment


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Russian Translations

  • Raskolnikov – “raskol” means “schism” or “split” in Russian

  • Luzha – “puddle”

  • Razum – “reason”, “intelligence”

    Russian word for crime is “prestuplenie”

    Directly translated means -“stepping over the line”


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Themes

  • Alienation from Society – at first Raskolnikov is separated by his pride, and later by his guilt and its intense psychological and physical effects


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Superman theme

  • An extraordinary person above moral laws

  • “steps beyond” and has no conscience

  • Nietzche – “In Beyond Good and Evil”, 2 types of morality: master-morality and slave-morality.

  • The higher type of man creates his own values and the meek and powerless are at their mercy.


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Nihilism

Portrait of Friedrich Nietczhe

  • Philosophical idea – developed in Russia 1850-1860

  • Rejected family, societal bonds and emotional and aesthetic concerns

  • Favored strict “materialism”- no mind or soul outside of the physical

  • Nietzche’s nihilism – active vs. passive

  • Active nihilism seeks to destroy what it no longer believes in .


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“There will be wars such as there have never been on earth before. Only from my time on will there be on earth politics on the grand scale”Nietzche


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