Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote this novel at an exceedingly low point in his life: within the same year his wife and brother died, the magazine he owned collapsed under debt, and he lost all of his money at a roulette wheel. He received advances to write two novels in order to pay for the roof over his head, and thus this novel was born. The story was published in twelve serial parts, and after the first installment critics were already heralding the novel’s brilliance. One of the greatest Russian novels ever written, Crime and Punishment follows the struggle between good and evil through main character Rodion Raskolnikov, who seeks to prove his theory that the best and smartest of men are above morality and the law. In this novel, Dostoevsky explores the turbulent interior life of his main character and its relationship to the social landscape, examining the value of punishment in helping one find redemption.