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Book Club – Crime and Punishment (1)

3 min read

“There wasn’t a moment to lose. He took the axe out entirely, lifted it up high with both hands, barely feeling a thing, and, almost effortlessly, almost mechanically, brought the butt down on her head.”

Dostoyevsky, in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

If you’re reading this book with me, we read the seven chapters of Part One, and we finished three chapters of Part Two at the weekend. But I should alert the spoiler anyways.

Here we go to the first #beardyread post of the year.

So, it’s early July, exceptional heat, evening. We meet Raskolnikov, a young man who’s full of pride, he’s scornful, irritated with the heat and odor of the city, he has no empathy for the rest of the humanity, he hates crowds and disorder, and his mental state is completely effed up.

I wonder why I relate so much to our main character *he titters*. But moving on…

In the first chapters, we learn about his pride, and we meet his mother, and his sister. And somehow it’s all connected.

We also meet some other characters, including Alyona Ivanovna, a widowed pawnbroker, and Lizaveta, her younger half-sister. His victims.

You have to read the whole book to understand why, but our man Raskol gets darker in a few chapters later and he swings an axe on both her skulls cracking them open, blood all over the place.

The fun fact about that is that his name, “Raskol”, can mean split, breach, crack, and fracture in Russian. Okay, it wasn’t funny for the sisters, but I love Dostoyevsky’s linguistic irony.

So, Part One is all about Raskolnikov’s crime. And he doesn’t get caught, which makes the whole punishment part an interesting theme to be developed in the rest of the book. Doesn’t it?

— @beardbetweenthelines

☕️ For next week, by March 13, we shall read from Chapter 4 in Part Two to Chapter 5 in Part Three.

Now, check the comment session to discuss a few things about what we’ve read so far.

between the lines…

(1) What do you think about Raskolnikov before the crime? How do you feel about his character?

(2) Why do you think is the main reason why he killed the pawnbroker? I mean, her sister was just an accident, he couldn’t leave any witness alive, we get it. But why Alyona?

(3) Despite the thickness of the book, are you having any trouble reading it?

(4) Does the caretaker of your building own an axe? Okay, this is not a question about the book but why do you need an axe in a building? I was just wondering.

(5) Comment anything you felt about this first part of our read. And we won’t judge you if you puked with the crime scenes. We might judge you if you felt good, though. You’ll understand why we’ll judge you for that throughout the rest of the book, I guess. But go on, spit it out…


via @beardbetweenthelines 👇🏻

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