Monday, August 13, 2012

Crime and Punishment: First Impressions

God willing, today I will be able to begin Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

For now, I thought it would be a perfect time to record my first impressions of my copy, which is a Barnes & Noble Classic translated by Constance Garnett.  Susan Wise Bauer suggests specific translators when available, so I try to follow her suggestions.

The B&N copy is interesting because it includes a page of great quotes, an author biography, a timeline of the author's life and some world events, and a really great and in depth introduction or preface, which I am tempted to read, but Bauer instructs readers to skip until after you have read the novel, that is, unless it was written by the author.  This one I am sure was not.  There is also a list of characters and a map of Petersburg, I assume where the story is set.  At the end of the story is a section of works inspired by the novel and a comment/question section, which I will also wait until after I finish the book.

Yesterday I had a few minutes to just browse through the first section of the book, and I am happy to pronounce that I am really super excited about reading my first Russian novel on a subject that I thought I would never be interested in: psychology - or at least that is the understanding I have about the subject.  I am a little nervous about being able to comprehend everything, as I consider this to be one of the very first titles off the Well-Educated Mind list that has intimidated me.  Before reading TWEM, I would have completely ignored this title.

I still have to finish my final analysis of Madame Bovary, so hopefully I will have that up today.  Stay tuned...


Adriana@ClassicalQuest said...

I too would have ignored this novel before reading WEM! I'm really glad to have your company with this. I feel as though I'm plodding along -- up ahead are the CCOM ladies cheering me on and from behind, you are gently coaxing me forward! :)
You are probably going to wiz past me in a blur though! I better get busy!!

Ruth said...

I will do my best to catch up!