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Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment: A Delve Seminar
Wednesdays, February 12 – March 19, 2014 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Though Thomas Mann called Crime and Punishment the greatest crime novel of all time, Dostoyevsky described his own work in more modest terms, as “a psychological account of a crime” in which a poor student comes under the sway of “certain strange half-baked ideas.” Continuing where he left off with Notes from the Underground, Dostoyevsky took readers where they never thought they wanted to go, this time right up close to a personality suffering dissolution, and deep into the perspective of a murderer. Since its publication in 1866, the novel has been regarded as either an attack on the progressive ideology of Dostoyevsky’s times or a record of its social evils—and as either a realistic psychological study of one individual or a symbolic representation of the conflict between ideas in all people. Our goal for this Delve will be to figure out how to read Crime and Punishment.
Guide: Lucas Bernhardt holds MAs in English and in Writing from Portland State University, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He teaches writing at Portland State University and is managing editor of Propeller Quarterly, a literature and art magazine.