Crime and Punishment

Hosted by camscampbell
18 Mar 24 - 29 Dec 24
98 participants


I'll be reading this novel in Russian with seven different translations to compare them. I'll read one chapter a week and aim to finish by the end of 2024. It's a nice, slow read that shouldn't be too challenging for anyone who wants to read along. 

The Roger Cockrell translation is the most recent one and was published in 2022. 

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Part One - Chapter 1

Target: 24 Mar 2024

I have no idea what I'm doing, so help me out and join the forum so we can figure it out together! This is my first read-along, and I'm excited about it. So let's cover Chapter 1, and then we'll hit our stride of a chapter a week moving forward. 

Part One - Chapter 2

Target: 31 Mar 2024

It dawns on me that you might wish to read ahead, so I shall set up some chapter forums in advance.

I was listening to Benjamin McEvoy's podcast about the novel (link), and he thinks one ought to read it fairly quickly. It was written quickly, and its frenetic pace lends itself to a quick read. Interestingly, when I bought it in December to give away as a Christmas gift, I read the copy I'd bought in only seven days, not my usual pace at all. 

So, by all means, charge on if you wish. I'm keeping it slow, but only because my Russian is so rusty and I'm also comparing seven translations! 

Part One - Chapter 3

Target: 07 Apr 2024


Part One - Chapter 4

Target: 14 Apr 2024

Chapter 4 - We get Raskolnikov's thoughts on his mother's letter as he walks on a city boulevard. A chance encounter with a drunk teenaged girl, a dandy and a policeman, then a description of a new character, Raskolnikov's 'friend', Razumikhin. 

Part One - Chapter 5

Target: 21 Apr 2024

This was a rough chapter. The scene with the dream was difficult to read. It illustrates the state of Raskolnikov's mind before the murder of the pawnbroker and is the scene chosen by Zohar Lazar for the illustration on the back of the Penguin Deluxe Classics Edition. I've put that up on my Instagram if you'd care to see it: Instagram post.

The dream persuades Raskolnikov to forget about his mad idea, until fate steps in. 

Part One - Chapter 6

Target: 28 Apr 2024

Raskolnikov is preparing for the murder. He feels pulled by fate. 

Part One - Chapter 7

Target: 05 May 2024

The Murder. This chapter closes out Part 1 and is a biggie. 

Part Two - Chapter 1

Target: 12 May 2024

The murders are done. Now it's time for the punishment to ratchet up to 11. I'm going to be adding more content to a Substack I've started to follow the read-along. If you'd like a sneak peak at what I've written for this chapter, here's a secret link to an early draft.  Substack offers a lot more features that I can use to enhance the read-along, but this one will stay seven weeks ahead so I'll have a buffer of time to create the richer content. Except for now while I have to build two chapters' worth a week until I catch up with myself! 

Part Two, Chapter 2

Target: 19 May 2024

It's hilarious to read how the various translations I'm reading have rendered this. Oh, and there's now an eight translation in the mix, Jessie Coulson's translation of 1953, published by Oxford World Classics. It's interesting that Nicholas Pasternak Slater's translation is from the same publishing house. 

So now we're treated to Raskolnikov's delirium following the murder. He's been to the police station and now he goes to visit Razumikhin. Before that, he goes to get rid of the evidence from the murder and wonders why he hasn't even looked inside the purse. In fact he almost chucks it all into the Neva. So what would the point of the murder have been if not to use the pawnbroker's riches to improve the lot of the poverty-stricken? Was it really just about stepping over? Saying a new word? He's not handling it too well though. 

Part Two, Chapter 3

Target: 26 May 2024

Raskolnikov is ill after the murder. He's got visitors popping round and it's all a bit too much. Razumikhin sounds like a good friend. He's gregarioius and easy to get along with, so much so that he's made friends with Zamyotov, the police officer that came round. Raskolnikov is paranoid that 'they know'. 

Part Two, Chapter Four

Target: 02 Jun 2024

Avoid mushrooms and cucumber. 

Part Two, Chapter 5

Target: 09 Jun 2024

Luzhin appears at Raskolnikov's room. It's a fascinating chapter that goes into some of the politics of the day. It doesn't sound like Raskolnikov and Luzhin are going to be friends, although it's not really much of a surprise. 

Part Two, Chapter 6

Target: 16 Jun 2024

Ilya Petrovich is a blockhead
Raskolnikov has a discussion with Zamyotov in the Crystal Palace and it's a bit weird. He goes on a rant about the murder and about the stolen lottery tickets. He's very much taunting the policeman. Razumikhin appears and lets Raskolnikov know in no uncertain terms that he's pissed off at him for going walkabout when he's so ill. And then Raskolnikov witnesses an attempted suicide on his way home, while the author has us wondering whether that's also on Raskolnikov's mind.