I finished Crime and Punishment this afternoon when I got off at work and headed to the library. My favorite couch was occupied so I had to find a new chair to perch in with the last 30 or so pages. Luckily I wasn’t interrupted by anyone peering at me and when I shut the back cover I thought to myself, “end of book 2.”
For a book that took me nearly two weeks to read (very unusual), it seemed like an anti-climatic ending. I sat there for a minute and looked out the window at the trail that passes behind the library and just thought about what I had read. This is a habit of mine—to simply reflect on what I have read and let it soak in.
So here are my confessions about Crime and Punishment.
- I was not looking forward to reading it because I thought it was one of those books that were going to be way over my head.
- As I was reading it, I could understand why its one of those books that her bow down to a revere. The moral dilemmas of Raskolnikov just sink into you and you become him, wondering why you committed such a horrid crime.
- Raskolnikov’s theory about crime and people who commit crime really made me think. If there are such things as ordinary and extraordinary people—the extraordinary being the ones who are allowed to do things for the benefit of humanity—who gets to decide who has the extra? I mean, if I declared myself an extraordinary human, can I find an inadequate teacher and off them because I would benefit more students? (No and no I wouldn’t do that. But it’s an example to think about).
- As I finished, I realized that I loved it.
So, I am done with the first of the Russian novels on the list, and the first by Dostoevsky. I have some other Russian writers, but on to something a little lighter than crime, punishment, and the beginnings of redemption.