Monday, January 30, 2012

Crime and Punishment

Finishing Crime and Punishment feels a bit like I imagine having scaled a sheer rock face might feel.  Ninety-nine percent hard work for one percent beautiful view.  Talk about delayed gratification.  Good grief.  I will say that all through the 551 pages, I had no view to hope for the resolution of the last two pages.  Not that I would necessarily recommend reading the book just for the redemption of the last two pages, but it is nice to know that redemption is possible, even for an axe murderer.    (Gives us lesser, petty transgressors hope, ya know.)  So many ideas are introduced in the novel that it is impossible to wrap my head around even a small percent of them at this point.  I highlighted more passages than I have time to recap.  As difficult as finishing the novel was, I feel like I could read it ten more times and still not absorb everything.  And that, I suppose, is what makes a great novel great:  too much brilliance for one small mind over the course of one cursory reading.  Did I like it?  Not particularly.  Did I find it beautiful or uplifting?  Not at all.   I don't even think Dostoevsky is a particularly "good writer."  But still I fear that what I read next will seem petty and mean in relation.