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Authors: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment

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CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

This acclaimed new translation of Dostoyevsky's ‘psychological record of a crime' gives his dark masterpiece of murder and pursuit a renewed vitality, expressing its jagged, staccato urgency and fevered atmosphere as never before. Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders alone through the slums of St Petersburg, deliriously imagining himself above society's laws. But when he commits a random murder, only suffering ensues. Embarking on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption.

* * *

‘A truly great translation . . . Sometimes new translations of old favourites are surplus to our requirements. . . . Sometimes, though, a new translation really makes us see a favourite masterpiece afresh. And this English version of
Crime and Punishment
really is better. . . .
Crime and Punishment
, as well as being an horrific story and a compelling drama, is also extremely funny. Ready brings out this quality well. . . . That knife-edge between sentimentality and farce has been so skilfully and delicately captured here. . . . Ready's version is colloquial, compellingly modern and—in so far as my amateurish knowledge of the language goes—much closer to the Russian. . . . The central scene in the book . . . is a masterpiece of translation.'

—A. N. Wilson,
The Spectator

‘This vivid, stylish, and rich rendition by Oliver Ready compels the attention of the reader in a way that none of the others I've read comes close to matching. Using a clear and forceful mid-twentieth-century idiom, Ready gives us an entirely new kind of access to Dostoyevsky's singular, self-reflexive and at times unnervingly comic text. This is the Russian writer's story of moral revolt, guilt, and possible regeneration turned into a new work of art. . . . [It] will give a jolt to the nervous system to anyone interested in the enigmatic Russian author.'

—John Gray,
New Statesman
, ‘Books of the Year'

‘At last we have a translation that brings out the wild humour and vitality of the original.'

—Robert Chandler,
PEN Atlas

‘A gorgeous translation . . . Inside one finds an excellent apparatus: a chronology, a terrific contextualizing introduction, a handy compendium of suggestions for further reading, and cogent notes on the translation. . . . But the best part is Ready's supple translation of the novel itself. Ready manages to cleave as closely as any prior translator to both spirit and letter, while rendering them into an English that is a relief to read.'

—The East-West Review

‘Oliver Ready's dynamic translation certainly succeeds in implicating new readers in Dostoyevsky's old novel.'

—
The Times Literary Supplement

‘What a pleasure it is to see Oliver Ready's new translation bring renewed power to one of the world's greatest works of fiction. . . . Ready's work is of substantial and superb quality. . . . [His] version portrays more viscerally and vividly the contradictory nature of Raskolnikov's consciousness. . . . Ready evokes the crux of
Crime and Punishment
with more power than the previous translators have . . . with an enviably raw economy of prose.'

—
The Curator

‘Ready's new translation of
Crime and Punishment
is thoughtful and elegant [and] shows us once again why this novel is one of the most intriguing psychological studies ever written. His translation also manages to revive the disturbing humor of the original. . . . In some places, Ready's version echoes Pevear and Volokhonsky's prize-winning nineties version, but he often renders Dostoyevsky's text more lucidly while retaining its deliberately uncomfortable feel. . . . Ready's colloquial, economical use of language gives the text a new power.'

—
Russia Beyond the Headlines

‘[A] five-star hit, which will make you see the original with new eyes.'

—
The Times Literary Supplement
, ‘Books of the Year'

PENGUIN
CLASSICS

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

FYODOR MIKHAILOVICH DOSTOYEVSKY
was born in Moscow in
1821
at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor, where his father worked as a doctor. His mother died in
1837
and his father two years later, rumoured to have been murdered by his serfs. From
1838
to
1843
he studied at the Academy of Military Engineers in St Petersburg. In
1844
Dostoyevsky resigned his commission and devoted himself fully to literature. His debut, the epistolary novel
Poor Folk
(
1846
), made his name, though
The Double
, published later that year, was greeted with much less enthusiasm, not least by Dostoyevsky's champion, Vissarion Belinsky. His epilepsy, which became increasingly severe, set in at this time. In
1849
he was arrested and sentenced to death for involvement with the politically subversive ‘Petrashevsky circle'; his sentence was commuted at the last moment to penal servitude and until
1854
he lived in a convict prison in Omsk, Siberia. From this experience came
Notes from the Dead House
(
1860–2
), which restored his literary reputation on his return to St Petersburg. In
1861
he and his brother Mikhail launched
Time
(
Vremya
), a monthly journal of literary-political affairs. Already married, Dostoyevsky fell in love with one of his contributors, Apollinaria Suslova, eighteen years his junior, and also developed a ruinous passion for roulette. The year
1864
saw the deaths of his wife Maria Dmitrievna and brother Mikhail, and the publication of
Notes from Underground.
He set to work on
Crime and Punishment
(
1866
) the following year. While writing this novel he engaged a young stenographer, Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina, and married her in
1867
. The major novels of his late period, written in Russia and abroad, are
The Idiot
(
1868
),
Demons
(
1871–2
) and
The Brothers Karamazov
(
1879–80
). He died in
1881
at the peak of his fame.

OLIVER READY
is Research Fellow in Russian Society and Culture at St Antony's College, Oxford. His translations include, from contemporary fiction,
The Zero Train
(
2001
;
2007
) and
The Prussian Bride
(
2002
; Rossica Translation Prize,
2005
) by Yuri Buida, and
Before and During
(
2014
) by Vladimir Sharov. He is the general editor of the anthology
The Ties of Blood: Russian Literature from the
21
st Century
(
2008
) and Russia and East-Central Europe editor at the
Times Literary Supplement
.

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Crime and Punishment
first published in Russian in monthly instalments in
Russkii Vestnik
(The Russian Messenger) 1866

This translation first published in Penguin Classics (UK) 2014

Published in Penguin Books (USA) 2015

Translation and editorial material copyright © 2014 by Oliver Ready

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821–1881, author.

[Prestuplenie i nakazanie. English. (Ready)]

Crime and punishment / Fyodor Dostoyevsky; translated and with an introduction and notes by Oliver Ready.

pages; cm

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 978-0-698-19415-1

I. Ready, Oliver, 1976– translator, writer of added commentary. II. Title.

PG3326.P7 2014

891.73'3—dc23

2014033003

Cover design and illustration by Zohar Lazar

Version_1

Contents

Praise for Oliver Ready

About the Authors

Title Page

Copyright

Chronology

Introduction

Further Reading

Note on the Translation

Note on Names

List of Characters

PART ONE

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

PART TWO

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

PART THREE

I

II

III

IV

V

PART FOUR

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

PART FIVE

I

II

III

IV

BOOK: Crime and Punishment
10.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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