Crime and Punishment read-a-long end of week three


The Crime and Punishment read-a-long is hosted by Wallace over at Unputdownables. In week three we read from part 2, chapter 1 to the end of part 2 chapter 4. The official discussion post for this section will be posted over at Unputdownables but here are my thoughts.

I have now read further than I managed on my previous attempt, which is an achievement. However, though the text is more readable in this translation, I find main character Raskolnikov just as frustrating. I’m going to plough straight into the plot so here be spoilers.

I suppose I expected more of an insight into Raskolnikov’s mind than we have had so far. Maybe that’s to come. Or perhaps we’re supposed to infer his thoughts from his actions. But I am finding him inscrutable. Why why why does he turn down a good job offer, throw away money from his friend and try to reject money from his mother? Is he just ill, as his friends think? Is this a hypochondriac or even psychosomatic response to his fear of being caught? Or is it guilt/remorse? Certainly it seems to be all fear and no remorse.

Also, Raskolnikov has friends! Who really seem to care about him. Is he/was he actually a nice guy? Or are Razumikhin and Zosimov just extraordinarily nice people?

So many questions raised by this week’s reading! Which I think is a good sign. And for the first time in this novel I marked a quote that struck me:

“A new and irresistible sensation of boundless, almost physical loathing for everything round him, an obstinate, hateful, malicious sensation, was growing stronger and stronger with every minute. He loathed everyone he met – their faces, their walk, their gestures. He thought that if anyone were to speak to him, he would spit and snarl at them like an animal.”

Can you see why I am yet to be convinced I will ever like this character?

UPDATE: The official discussion post is now up.