Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-81) was going through a very difficult time when he penned Crime and Punishment in 1864. His first wife had died of tuberculosis and so had his brother Mikhail. Dead broke, and being chased by the collectors, he traveled (or escaped) in Europe, where he wrote Crime and Punishment, which was published in 1866. It was amidst the bereavement, debt, epilepsy, addiction to gambling, and despair that “his genius emerged in its purest form” (p. ix).
“Dostoyevsky’s protagonist, Raskolnikov, experiences a profound sense of alienation from humanity after his crime, and his isolation from society accentuates his moral dilemma. Embodied in this inward struggle is the notion of good and evil vying for supremacy of the soul, a recurring theme in Dostoyevsky’s novels, which finds its fullest and most powerful expression in this masterpiece of world literature” (p. ix).
I am very glad that my son Paul read the copy that I had bought at a bookstore on Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg on Sep 10, 2010 (Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Translated by Constance Garnett. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2001), and wrote his review of this magnum opus. You can read it in his blog.
I’d also like to share some of the photos I took when I visited the Dostoyevsky Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2013.
The Dostoyevsky Literary Memorial Museum is located in St. Petersburg. It was the former apartment of Dostoyevsky. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1971. He wrote The Brothers Karamazov in this apartment.