Saturday, November 10, 2018

Crime and Punishment

It was not an easy read. It was a good read, but definitely not easy, as much for the emotional intensity and theme as the usual Russian habit of giving everyone 6 different names and swapping them in and out at random. (Next time I start a Russian novel, I need to create a cast of characters to accompany me, because half the time I'm not sure who's talking.)

I probably shouldn't have been reading The Secret History of Moscow at the same time, which, although an intriguing book, made for altogether too much Russianness. We are all doomed, so let's drink more vodka.

Still, it was amazing and the scene in which he confesses to Sonia and she sees right through his confusion and misery and inability to repent to the suffering human at the core without the slightest hint of excusing wrongdoing is one of the most amazing things I've ever read.

It was a tough summer (and fall) and not much good for heavy reading. DOB had another new and different health challenge, some new diagnosis and a lot of uncertainty still.

So I'm certainly not going to finish out my Back to the Classics challenge, but I can surely fit in one more before the end of the year. And the dice roller says it will be Jude the Obscure, another one I suspect may be hard to get through.

That only brings me to 5 (having abandoned Swiss Family Robinson), so I'm going to throw in Orthodoxy as a bonus because I can certainly do that before the end of the year and at least make half my goal.

Considering the year it's been, that's pretty good, and maybe I can do the other half next year. 


2 comments:

Uglemor said...

Tough times, old boy, as the speaking dog said to Donald Duck in my childhood cartoon. I am truly sorry for you, and amazed that you made it through this brick of a book. I am also not going to finish the Back to the Classics challenge. Ilnesses - of less severe, but still hampering has come in my way, as well as family life in general, and the inclemency of tide and times. I'm still grateful for your having introduced me to this challenge, and like you I hope to return next year.
Hoping and praying for better times to come for you and your family.

Diary of an Autodidact said...

Jude the Obscure is a tough one to dive into, although at least not as difficult to keep straight as Dostoevsky. I'm glad I read it, but I have to say that it has one of the darkest scenes in literature (I won't spoil it, but you will know when you get to it), and it is one of the most misogynistic books I have read. Although Hardy had personal reasons for wanting to lash out at women.