Crime and Punishment
A man will commit a crime. He will be caught. He will be punished His fate will revolve around the conflicts between freedom and conscience, the delinquent individual and the punitive state. Justice, no doubt, will be done.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) was born in Moscow and made his name in 1846 with the novella Poor Folk. He spent several years in prison in Siberia as a result of his political activities, an experience that formed the basis of The House of the Dead. In later life, he fell in love with a much younger woman and developed a ruinous passion for roulette. His subsequent great novels include Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Demons and The Brothers Karamazov.
Oliver Ready is Research Fellow in Russian Society and Culture at St Antony’s College, Oxford. He is the general editor of the anthology, The Ties of Blood: Russian Literature from the 21st Century (2008), and Consultant Editor for Russia, Central and Eastern Europe at the Times Literary Supplement.