Crime and Punishment: in my head


Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky is my favorite book of all time, but that’s not necessarily because I enjoy it.  I do, obviously, enjoy reading it, but I think it’s my favorite because of how intense an effect it has on me.

The first time I read it was in college, so the reading schedule was fast-paced, forcing me to really immerse myself in the novel.  I did, and it had such an obvious impact on me that my professor, Dr. Nancy Dayton, actually told me to me stop reading!

I haven’t re-read the novel since then because it is such a massive undertaking, but I assigned it to my students for summer reading so I’m diving in again.  Well, I got behind on the reading for a week and had to catch up this weekend.  I thought that I had outgrown the influence of Dostoevsky, but one lengthy dose of Raskolnikov and I swear that I’m insane.

I can’t think straight.  I don’t feel like myself.  I’m constantly in my own head and have trouble interacting with people.  I am insecure and arrogant at the same time.  I walk around as if in a stupor.  My thoughts are disjointed and grandiose.  My emotions are alternately numb and severe.

All because I read some Crime and Punishment this weekend?


Whenever I hear the question about who you would like to have dinner with, living or dead, my answer is always Dostoevsky.  I want to talk to him, to understand him, because I think that by knowing Dostoevsky I’d be able to know myself as well.


He looks scary, who could imagine such incredible things came from his mind?

Fyodor Dostoevsky is my literary soulmate.  Who is yours?  What piece of work affects you?


5 thoughts on “Crime and Punishment: in my head

  1. I missed out on reading all the Russian classics in school, because we moved to the US right about when I was in 8th grade, so I’m trying to make up lost time now. Reading War and Peace at the moment, but Crime and Punishment is definitely on the list! Especially after such an endorsement as above!

    • I haven’t gotten around to many other of the great Russian novels because they require such a commitment, but in my opinion C&P is worth it. Please come back and tell me what you think of War and Peace, and Crime and Punishment when you get to it!

  2. “Commitment” is right. I’ve been reading War and Peace for months now and let’s just say that when a novel takes 7 years to write, don’t think you’ll get through reading it too much faster than that!

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