The Notebooks for Crime and Punishment

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-05-17
  • Publisher: Dover Publications

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"In studying the notebooks one feels like an eavesdropper on Dostoyevsky's artistic self-communings. . . .  We may plainly observe Dostoyevsky's creative logic at work in selection and emphasis, his concern for technique and his struggle to make crystal-clear what is ambiguous in his characters. . . .  a veritable storehouse of source material on nearly every aspect of the conception, planning, and writing of Crime and Punishment." ― The New York Times
This key to understanding Dostoyevsky's masterpiece and the author's creative intentions offers a remarkable behind-the-scenes look at the composition of Crime and Punishment, from its first inception to its conclusion. Dostoyevsky's notebooks chronicle the trials, mistakes, and uncertainties that hindered his progress. They also reveal insights into the workings of his imagination and significant details about the novel's ultimate content.
Professor Edward Wasiolek has supplemented Dostoyevsky's text with an introduction and a commentary summarizing the material in each section. In addition to facsimile pages from the notebooks, this volume offers interpretations of Dostoyevsky's schematic plans for major portions of the novel as well as his alternate versions of scenes and characters, his unused material, and his reflections on philosophical and religious ideas.

Author Biography

With his sympathetic portrayals of the downtrodden of 19th-century Russian society, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881) exercised immense influence on modern writers. His novels featured profound philosophical and psychological insights that anticipated the development of psychoanalysis and existentialism.
Translator and editor Edward Wasiolek is the Avalon Foundation Distinguished Service Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literature and Chairman of the Committee on Comparative Studies in Literature at the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents

I. Raskolnikov's meeting with Marmeladov in the tavern—Marmeladov's confession
II. Raskolnikov and his mother—Raskolnikov's love for Sonia—Confession or suicide—Sonia's character—Technical notations
III. Fragments from Marmeladov's tavern speech—Raskolnikov's plea for pity and his fear of his mother—Raskolnikov's relations with Sonia—Raskolnikov reflects on confession, suicide, and the redemption of his crime by good works—Razumikhin and Zosimov at Raskolnikov's sickbed
IV. Raskolnikov returns to his room after the murder—Summons to the police station—Concealment of stolen articles—Visit to Razumikhin—Raskolnikov's dream
V. Razumikhin at Raskolnikov's sickbed—How the landlady gave Raskolnikov's note to a bill collector—Razmikhin dresses Raskolnikov—Razumikhin and Zosimov speculate about the murderer
VI. Dostoevsky's letter to Katkov, for the first time outlining the plot of "Crime and Punishment"
VII. Raskolnikov and Porfiry—Dunia's break with Luzhin
VIII. Luzhin's intrigues against Raskolnikov and Sonia—Portrait of Svidrigaylov—Comments on Raskolnikov's motives—Katerina's efforts to find justice—Characterization of Razumikhin
IX. Raskolnikov and Porfiry—Sonia and Raskolnikov's family—Raskolnikov's love for his mother and sister—His love for Sonia
X. Reflections on how the novel should end—Raskolnikov talks with Sonia about his motives—Raskolnikov gives himself up—Characterization of Svidrigaylov—Svidrigaylov tells Raskolnikov about his life and beliefs—Porfiry tracks down and interrogates Raskolnikov—Raskolnikov prepares to shoot himself

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