Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Crime and Punishment Part 2

Hey so the summer of reading classic literature and blogging about it changed into the summer of reading the Chronicles of Narnia (okay not bad), Twilight (new and sparkly), Wuthering Heights (Hey that's a classic!), Gossip Girl (eh... at least I'm reading???), and Harry Potter once again (ALWAYS AND FOREVER YAY!!!!) and blogging about other things. Not so hot on the Russian literature front. But fortunately I respond very well to guilt and goals especially of the self-proscribed variety, so I picked up my dusty volume of C&P and dug in once more.

So when we left our anti-hero, he had just murdered the cruel old pawn lady and her sister and narrowly escaped. In part 2, (now I read the beginning of part 2 back in June and I didn't take the notes I did for part 1 so you'll have to bear with me) he takes off from the old lady's apartment, disposes of the evidence and then goes out drinking? I think there's another visit to a local pub there, but it strikes me as odd now and I guess it struck me as odd then. All is not well with our anti-hero. Then he gets called down to the police stations. Gasp! But it's not for that it's just to pay back this IOU he gave to his land lady for a huge amount. (My rubles to dollars conversion is non-existent; I'm just comparing to it to the random monetary statements made in the book). But while at the police station he overhears the officers talking about the murder and faints. This episode is just the beginning of a "prolonged" (2-3 days?) "illness" (really? he's sick?) that takes up the rest of Part 2. Oh! but somewhere in there he takes the stuff he stole from the pawn lady and hides it in a hole under a stone in an alley (yeah, he's crazy, not sick) and cuts (CUTS!) the blood stains off his cuffs and tries to hide them. The perfect crime it is not.

So technically our beloved R. is sick. His friend TOR (The Other R--Ramuzkin? ah Razumikhin--thanks Wikipedia, TOR is an oblique reference to An Abundance of Katherines FYI.) takes care of him. Oh yeah he goes and visits TOR after the hiding the stolen goods just cause he happens to be in the area. Dumb! Anyway, fortunately TOR takes very good care of R because he really is sick. Murder must lead to "psychosomatic symptoms difficult to endure involving the eyes, the ears, the nose and the throat." (Guys and Dolls?) And a bunch of people keep visiting him while he's sick and talking about the murder--his sister's fiance (whom he hates), the police officer investigating Zamyotov (we'll call him Z), the beautiful and mysterious Natashya (actually probably not; I just always think of Rocky and Bullwinkle--see why I've had trouble getting through this book? I keep getting side-tracked), and the doctor Zossimov (Dr. Z). The doctor blames his sickness on the lack of nutrition and stress of poor student life. R doesn't really believe he's actually sick, but then again he's delusional. He also mildly freaks out whenever these people talk about the murder of the pawn lady. In his semi-recovered state, he sneaks out to go on a walkabout, finds Z in a pub and procedes to tell him how R would carry out the crime (how he in fact did carry out the crime--dumb, dumb, DUMB!!!). However, Z says it's obviously the job of an amatuer because otherwise they would have found the extreme amounts of cash she had (Doh! Ha!). Walking back from the pub he stumbles across and accident which just happens to involve the crushed face of his other pub friend Marmeladov (I almost spelled that correctly). So he leads the onlookers to M's apartment where M dies and he gives his widow all the money TOR magically came up with to buy him food and clothes (Doh! Can we say guilt much?). When he gets back to his apartment, he finds his mother and sister who haven't seen him in 3 years and promptly gets rid of them.

In sum, I'm feeling no love for R. He was impetuous and weak. If you're going to pull off the perfect crime, figure out what you're going to do afterward. He didn't even have a good hiding spot for the loot! Dumb! Maybe he couldn't anticipate the sickness, but then don't go explain your whole theory to the investigating officer. All this dumbness is why it took me 3 months to get through this part. However, I have finished Part 3 and it was quite good. I will post about it soon with hopefully more thoughtful commentary instead of random links to things C&P remind me of.

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