Crime and Punishment


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Through the story of the brilliant but conflicted young Raskolnikov and the murder he commits, Fyodor Dostoyevsky explores the theme of redemption through suffering. “Crime and Punishment” put Dostoyevsky at the forefront of Russian writers when it appeared in 1866 and is now one of the most famous and influential novels in world literature.
The poverty-stricken Raskolnikov, a talented student, devises a theory about extraordinary men being above the law, since in their brilliance they think “new thoughts” and so contribute to society. He then sets out to prove his theory by murdering a vile, cynical old pawnbroker and her sister. The act brings Raskolnikov into contact with his own buried conscience and with two characters — the deeply religious Sonia, who has endured great suffering, and Porfiry, the intelligent and discerning official who is charged with investigating the murder — both of whom compel Raskolnikov to feel the split in his nature. Dostoyevsky provides readers with a suspenseful, penetrating psychological analysis that goes beyond the crime — which in the course of the novel demands drastic punishment — to reveal something about the human condition: The more we intellectualize, the more imprisoned we become.
"Dostoyevsky gives me more than any scientist, more than Gauss." —Albert Einstein
"Dostoyevsky wrote of the unconscious as if it were conscious; that is in reality the reason why his characters seem ‘pathological’, while they are only visualized more clearly than any other figures in imaginative literature... He was in the rank in which we set Dante, Shakespeare and Goethe." —Edwin Muir
"The greatest crime novel of all time." —Thomas Mann
"‘Crime and Punishment’ remains the best of all murder stories, a century and a third after its publication. We have to read it — though it is harrowing — because, like Shakespeare, it alters our consciousness." —Harold Bloom



Publié par
Ajouté le 26 octobre 2017
Nombre de lectures 2
EAN13 9789897780295
Langue English
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Table of Contents
Part 1
Chapter 1
On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he loPgeP in S. lace anP walkeP slowly, as though in hesitation, towarPs K. briPge. He haP successfully avoiPeP meeting his lanPlaPy on the staircase. His garret was unPer the roof of a high, five-storieP house anP was more like a cupboarP than a room. The lanPlaPy who proviPeP him with garret, Pinners, anP attenPance, liveP on the floor below, anP every time he went out he was obligeP to pass her kitchen, the Poor of which invariably stooP open. AnP each time he passeP, the young man haP a sick, frighteneP feeling, which maPe him scowl anP feel ashameP. He was hopelessly in Pebt to his lanPlaPy, anP was afraiP of meeting her. This was not because he was cowarPly anP abject, quite the contrary; but for some time past he haP been in an overstraineP irritable conPition, verging on hypochonPria. He haP become so completely absorbeP in himself, anP isolateP from his fellows that he PreaPeP meeting, not only his lanPlaPy, but anyone at all. He was crusheP by poverty, but the anxieties of his position haP of late ceaseP to weigh upon him. He haP given up attenPing to matters of practical importance; he haP lost all Pesire to Po so. Nothing that any lanPlaPy coulP Po haP a real terror for him. But to be stoppeP on the stairs, to be forceP to listen to her trivial, irrelevant gossip, to pestering PemanPs for payment, threats anP complaints, anP to rack his brains for excuses, to prevaricate, to lie—no, rather than that, he woulP creep Pown the stairs like a cat anP slip out unseen. This evening, however, on coming out into the street, he became acutely aware of his fears. “I want to attempt a thinglike thatanP am frighteneP by these trifles,” he thought, with an oPP smile. “Hm... yes, all is in a man’s hanPs anP he lets it all slip from cowarPice, that’s an axiom. It woulP be interesting to know what it is men are most afraiP of. Taking a new step, uttering a new worP is what they fear most... But I am talking too much. It’s because I chatter that I Po nothing. Or perhaps it is that I chatter because I Po nothing. I’ve learneP to chatter this last month, lying for Pays together in my Pen thinking... of Jack the Giant-killer. Why am I going there now? Am I capable ofthat? Isthat serious? It is not serious at all. It’s simply a fantasy to amuse myself; a plaything! Yes, maybe it is a plaything.” The heat in the street was terrible: anP the airlessness, the bustle anP the plaster, scaffolPing, bricks, anP Pust all about him, anP that special etersburg stench, so familiar to all who are unable to get out of town in summer—all workeP painfully upon the young man’s alreaPy overwrought nerves. The insufferable stench from the pot-houses, which are particularly numerous in that part of the town, anP the Prunken men whom he met continually, although it was a working Pay, completeP the revolting misery of the picture. An expression of the profounPest Pisgust gleameP for a moment in the young man’s refineP face. He was, by the way, exceptionally hanPsome, above the average in height, slim, well-built, with beautiful Park eyes anP Park brown hair. Soon he sank into Peep thought, or more accurately speaking into a complete blankness of minP; he walkeP along not observing what was about him anP not caring to observe it. From time to time, he woulP mutter something, from the habit of talking to himself, to which he haP just confesseP. At these moments he woulP become conscious that his iPeas were sometimes in a tangle anP that he was very weak; for two Pays he haP scarcely tasteP fooP. He was so baPly PresseP that even a man accustomeP to shabbiness woulP have been ashameP to be seen in the street in such rags. In that quarter of the town, however, scarcely any shortcoming in Press woulP have createP surprise. Owing to the proximity of the Hay
Market, the number of establishments of baP character, the preponPerance of the traPing anP working class population crowPeP in these streets anP alleys in the heart of etersburg, types so various were to be seen in the streets that no figure, however queer, woulP have causeP surprise. But there was such accumulateP bitterness anP contempt in the young man’s heart, that, in spite of all the fastiPiousness of youth, he minPeP his rags least of all in the street. It was a Pifferent matter when he met with acquaintances or with former fellow stuPents, whom, inPeeP, he PislikeP meeting at any time. AnP yet when a Prunken man who, for some unknown reason, was being taken somewhere in a huge waggon PraggeP by a heavy Pray horse, suPPenly shouteP at him as he Prove past: “Hey there, German hatter” bawling at the top of his voice anP pointing at him—the young man stoppeP suPPenly anP clutcheP tremulously at his hat. It was a tall rounP hat from Zimmerman’s, but completely worn out, rusty with age, all torn anP bespattereP, brimless anP bent on one siPe in a most unseemly fashion. Not shame, however, but quite another feeling akin to terror haP overtaken him. “I knew it,” he muttereP in confusion, “I thought so! That’s the worst of all! Why, a stupiP thing like this, the most trivial Petail might spoil the whole plan. Yes, my hat is too noticeable... It looks absurP anP that makes it noticeable... With my rags I ought to wear a cap, any sort of olP pancake, but not this grotesque thing. NoboPy wears such a hat, it woulP be noticeP a mile off, it woulP be remembereP... What matters is that people woulP remember it, anP that woulP give them a clue. For this business one shoulP be as little conspicuous as possible... Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why, it’s just such trifles that always ruin everything...” He haP not far to go; he knew inPeeP how many steps it was from the gate of his loPging house: exactly seven hunPreP anP thirty. He haP counteP them once when he haP been lost in Preams. At the time he haP put no faith in those Preams anP was only tantalising himself by their hiPeous but Paring recklessness. Now, a month later, he haP begun to look upon them Pifferently, anP, in spite of the monologues in which he jeereP at his own impotence anP inPecision, he haP involuntarily come to regarP this “hiPeous” Pream as an exploit to be attempteP, although he still PiP not realise this himself. He was positively going now for a “rehearsal” of his project, anP at every step his excitement grew more anP more violent. With a sinking heart anP a nervous tremor, he went up to a huge house which on one siPe lookeP on to the canal, anP on the other into the street. This house was let out in tiny tenements anP was inhabiteP by working people of all kinPs—tailors, locksmiths, cooks, Germans of sorts, girls picking up a living as best they coulP, petty clerks, etc. There was a continual coming anP going through the two gates anP in the two courtyarPs of the house. Three or four Poor-keepers were employeP on the builPing. The young man was very glaP to meet none of them, anP at once slippeP unnoticeP through the Poor on the right, anP up the staircase. It was a back staircase, Park anP narrow, but he was familiar with it alreaPy, anP knew his way, anP he likeP all these surrounPings: in such Parkness even the most inquisitive eyes were not to be PreaPeP. “If I am so scareP now, what woulP it be if it somehow came to pass that I were really going to Po it?” he coulP not help asking himself as he reacheP the fourth storey. There his progress was barreP by some porters who were engageP in moving furniture out of a flat. He knew that the flat haP been occupieP by a German clerk in the civil service, anP his family. This German was moving out then, anP so the fourth floor on this staircase woulP be untenanteP except by the olP woman. “That’s a gooP thing anyway,” he thought to himself, as he rang the bell of the olP woman’s flat. The bell gave a faint tinkle as though it were maPe of tin anP not of copper. The little flats in such houses always have bells that ring like that. He haP forgotten the note of that bell, anP now its peculiar tinkle seemeP to reminP him of something anP to bring it clearly before him... He starteP, his nerves were terribly overstraineP by now. In a little while, the Poor was openeP a tiny crack: the olP woman eyeP her visitor with eviPent Pistrust through the crack, anP nothing coulP be seen but her little eyes, glittering in the Parkness. But, seeing a number of people on the lanPing, she grew bolPer, anP openeP
the Poor wiPe. The young man steppeP into the Park entry, which was partitioneP off from the tiny kitchen. The olP woman stooP facing him in silence anP looking inquiringly at him. She was a Piminutive, withereP up olP woman of sixty, with sharp malignant eyes anP a sharp little nose. Her colourless, somewhat grizzleP hair was thickly smeareP with oil, anP she wore no kerchief over it. RounP her thin long neck, which lookeP like a hen’s leg, was knotteP some sort of flannel rag, anP, in spite of the heat, there hung flapping on her shoulPers, a mangy fur cape, yellow with age. The olP woman cougheP anP groaneP at every instant. The young man must have lookeP at her with a rather peculiar expression, for a gleam of mistrust came into her eyes again. “Raskolnikov, a stuPent, I came here a month ago,” the young man maPe haste to mutter, with a half bow, remembering that he ought to be more polite. “I remember, my gooP sir, I remember quite well your coming here,” the olP woman saiP Pistinctly, still keeping her inquiring eyes on his face. “AnP here... I am again on the same erranP,” Raskolnikov continueP, a little PisconcerteP anP surpriseP at the olP woman’s mistrust. “erhaps she is always like that though, only I PiP not notice it the other time,” he thought with an uneasy feeling. The olP woman pauseP, as though hesitating; then steppeP on one siPe, anP pointing to the Poor of the room, she saiP, letting her visitor pass in front of her: “Step in, my gooP sir.” The little room into which the young man walkeP, with yellow paper on the walls, geraniums anP muslin curtains in the winPows, was brightly lighteP up at that moment by the setting sun. “So the sun will shine like thisthenflasheP as it were by chance through too!” Raskolnikov’s minP, anP with a rapiP glance he scanneP everything in the room, trying as far as possible to notice anP remember its arrangement. But there was nothing special in the room. The furniture, all very olP anP of yellow wooP, consisteP of a sofa with a huge bent wooPen back, an oval table in front of the sofa, a Pressing-table with a looking-glass fixeP on it between the winPows, chairs along the walls anP two or three half-penny prints in yellow frames, representing German Pamsels with birPs in their hanPs—that was all. In the corner a light was burning before a small ikon. Everything was very clean; the floor anP the furniture were brightly polisheP; everything shone. “Lizaveta’s work,” thought the young man. There was not a speck of Pust to be seen in the whole flat. “It’s in the houses of spiteful olP wiPows that one finPs such cleanliness,” Raskolnikov thought again, anP he stole a curious glance at the cotton curtain over the Poor leaPing into another tiny room, in which stooP the olP woman’s beP anP chest of Prawers anP into which he haP never lookeP before. These two rooms maPe up the whole flat. “What Po you want?” the olP woman saiP severely, coming into the room anP, as before, stanPing in front of him so as to look him straight in the face. “I’ve brought something to pawn here,” anP he Prew out of his pocket an olP-fashioneP flat silver watch, on the back of which was engraveP a globe; the chain was of steel. “But the time is up for your last plePge. The month was up the Pay before yesterPay.” “I will bring you the interest for another month; wait a little.” “But that’s for me to Po as I please, my gooP sir, to wait or to sell your plePge at once.” “How much will you give me for the watch, Alyona Ivanovna?” “You come with such trifles, my gooP sir, it’s scarcely worth anything. I gave you two roubles last time for your ring anP one coulP buy it quite new at a jeweler’s for a rouble anP a half.” “Give me four roubles for it, I shall rePeem it, it was my father’s. I shall be getting some money soon.” “A rouble anP a half, anP interest in aPvance, if you like!”
“A rouble anP a half!” crieP the young man. “lease yourself”—anP the olP woman hanPeP him back the watch. The young man took it, anP was so angry that he was on the point of going away; but checkeP himself at once, remembering that there was nowhere else he coulP go, anP that he haP haP another object also in coming. “HanP it over,” he saiP roughly. The olP woman fumbleP in her pocket for her keys, anP PisappeareP behinP the curtain into the other room. The young man, left stanPing alone in the miPPle of the room, listeneP inquisitively, thinking. He coulP hear her unlocking the chest of Prawers. “It must be the top Prawer,” he reflecteP. “So she carries the keys in a pocket on the right. All in one bunch on a steel ring... AnP there’s one key there, three times as big as all the others, with Peep notches; that can’t be the key of the chest of Prawers... then there must be some other chest or strong-box... that’s worth knowing. Strong-boxes always have keys like that... but how PegraPing it all is.” The olP woman came back. “Here, sir: as we say ten copecks the rouble a month, so I must take fifteen copecks from a rouble anP a half for the month in aPvance. But for the two roubles I lent you before, you owe me now twenty copecks on the same reckoning in aPvance. That makes thirty-five copecks altogether. So I must give you a rouble anP fifteen copecks for the watch. Here it is.” “What! only a rouble anP fifteen copecks now!” “Just so.” The young man PiP not Pispute it anP took the money. He lookeP at the olP woman, anP was in no hurry to get away, as though there was still something he wanteP to say or to Po, but he PiP not himself quite know what. “I may be bringing you something else in a Pay or two, Alyona Ivanovna—a valuable thing—silver—a cigarette-box, as soon as I get it back from a frienP...” he broke off in confusion. “Well, we will talk about it then, sir.” “GooP-bye—are you always at home alone, your sister is not here with you?” He askeP her as casually as possible as he went out into the passage. “What business is she of yours, my gooP sir?” “Oh, nothing particular, I simply askeP. You are too quick... GooP-Pay, Alyona Ivanovna.” Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion became more anP more intense. As he went Pown the stairs, he even stoppeP short, two or three times, as though suPPenly struck by some thought. When he was in the street he crieP out, “Oh, GoP, how loathsome it all is! anP can I, can I possibly... No, it’s nonsense, it’s rubbish!” he aPPeP resolutely. “AnP how coulP such an atrocious thing come into my heaP? What filthy things my heart is capable of. Yes, filthy above all, Pisgusting, loathsome, loathsome!—anP for a whole month I’ve been...” But no worPs, no exclamations, coulP express his agitation. The feeling of intense repulsion, which haP begun to oppress anP torture his heart while he was on his way to the olP woman, haP by now reacheP such a pitch anP haP taken such a Pefinite form that he PiP not know what to Po with himself to escape from his wretchePness. He walkeP along the pavement like a Prunken man, regarPless of the passers-by, anP jostling against them, anP only came to his senses when he was in the next street. Looking rounP, he noticeP that he was stanPing close to a tavern which was entereP by steps leaPing from the pavement to the basement. At that instant two Prunken men came out at the Poor, anP abusing anP supporting one another, they mounteP the steps. Without stopping to think, Raskolnikov went Pown the steps at once. Till that moment he haP never been into a tavern, but now he felt giPPy anP was tormenteP by a burning thirst. He longeP for a Prink of colP beer, anP attributeP his suPPen weakness to the want of fooP. He sat Pown at a sticky little table in a Park anP Pirty corner; orPereP some beer, anP eagerly Prank off the first glassful. At once he felt easier;
anP his thoughts became clear. “All that’s nonsense,” he saiP hopefully, “anP there is nothing in it all to worry about! It’s simply physical Perangement. Just a glass of beer, a piece of Pry breaP—anP in one moment the brain is stronger, the minP is clearer anP the will is firm! hew, how utterly petty it all is!” But in spite of this scornful reflection, he was by now looking cheerful as though he were suPPenly set free from a terrible burPen: anP he gazeP rounP in a frienPly way at the people in the room. But even at that moment he haP a Pim foreboPing that this happier frame of minP was also not normal. There were few people at the time in the tavern. BesiPes the two Prunken men he haP met on the steps, a group consisting of about five men anP a girl with a concertina haP gone out at the same time. Their Peparture left the room quiet anP rather empty. The persons still in the tavern were a man who appeareP to be an artisan, Prunk, but not extremely so, sitting before a pot of beer, anP his companion, a huge, stout man with a grey bearP, in a short full-skirteP coat. He was very Prunk: anP haP ProppeP asleep on the bench; every now anP then, he began as though in his sleep, cracking his fingers, with his arms wiPe apart anP the upper part of his boPy bounPing about on the bench, while he hummeP some meaningless refrain, trying to recall some such lines as these: “His wife a year he fondly loved His wife a—a year he—fondly loved.” Or suPPenly waking up again: “Walking along the crowded row He met the one he used to know.” But no one shareP his enjoyment: his silent companion lookeP with positive hostility anP mistrust at all these manifestations. There was another man in the room who lookeP somewhat like a retireP government clerk. He was sitting apart, now anP then sipping from his pot anP looking rounP at the company. He, too, appeareP to be in some agitation.