Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment is a unique by means of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Crime and Punishment specializes in the psychological discomfort and ethical dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg ex-student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her funds, thereby fixing his monetary difficulties and while, he argues, ridding the realm of an evil, valueless parasite.

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Sample text

Since his edition sold out and he had no intention of ever reissuing it, his friend and advisor Sir Richard Burton (1821–90) saw his opportunity. Burton was already famous for having disguised himself as a Muslim and making the hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, and for his expedition undertaken with John Speke in search of the source of the Nile. He had also published a translation of the Kama Sutra in 1883. Burton’s translation was published in 1885–7 in sixteen volumes (six of which were supplemental volumes containing stories not found in Calcutta II) and, in order to circumvent the Obscene Publications Act of 1857, it was available to private subscribers only.

While Lane’s translation had been excessively prudish, Burton’s was at the other end of the spectrum. He heightened the eroticism and, occasionally, the racism of what he translated. His prose was by turns pompous, slangy or tortured. However, he did provide a full translation and even supplied variant versions of some stories. Two further translations need to be mentioned. Joseph-Charles-Victor Mardrus, a member of a Caucasian clan who grew up in Cairo, published a French translation of the Nights in twelve volumes between 1899 and 1904.

At a wink from him, closets appeared with bolted doors, and when he spoke to them he was answered by birdsong. All this astonished al-Rashid, who said: ‘From where have you got all this, you who are known as Abu Muhammad the sluggard? ’ ‘Listen to my story, Commander of the Faithful,’ said Abu Muhammad… Morning now dawned and Shahrazad broke off from what she had been allowed to say. ’ The caliph told him to explain and HE CONTINUED: Commander of the Faithful, may God prolong your glory and power, when people say that I am known as ‘the sluggard’ and that my father left me nothing, this is true.

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