23 April 2009

Reading journal: Crime and Punishment by Fjodor Dostojevski. Entry 4.

I’ve taken a long break from the book, but I hope not so long as to affect my memory of what I have already read. I have just a few notes on this part:

  • Svidrigelof is definitely planning something. At first he tells R that he wants to court and marry Dunja, and then when R does not take kindly to that, he changes tack and says he wants to give her some money but will then leave her alone and marry another woman. Then he appears again, listening in on a conversation between Sonja and R. I think he may try to blackmail R, either for money or for help in winning Dunja's hand (he does seem to have honorable intentions towards her now that his wife is dead).

  • As I had guessed (and hoped) Dunja has broken her engagement with Lusjin, and seems to be beginning to fall in love with Rasumikhin, who has proven himself to be a thoroughly decent person.

  • Petrovits has started trying to confuse R into confessing or giving himself away somehow, using psychological methods, and has even described his method to him. R’s behaviour in Petrovits’s office is such that one would either take it as a direct evidence of his guilt, or of his madness. I am pretty certain that Petrovits knows that R is the murderer, but either can not arrest him for lack of solid evidence, or will not arrest him because he wants him to confess of his own free will.

  • It seems I was right about Sonja – R visits her, finds out she knew Lisaveta, and promises to tell her who murdered her.

  • Lusjin has been thoroughly confirmed as being pompous, arrogant, and silly. His attachment to Dunja arose because he desired to marry a woman who was educated and cultured but poor, so that he would always have someone to worship him for saving her from her situation. I wonder if he will try to win her back?

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