'Crime and Punishment' is Published

Crime and Punishment was the second of Dostoevsky's most important, mature fictional works.

It was first published in the conservative journal The Russian Messenger, appearing in twelve monthly installments in 1866. Dostoevsky left three full notebooks of materials pertinent to Crime and Punishment. These have been published under the title The Notebooks for Crime and Punishment, edited and translated by Edward Wasiolek. Dostoevsky began work on this novel in the summer of 1865. He originally planned to title it The Drunkards, but in the final version, the theme of drunkenness as a social problem, represented by the Marmeladov family, had shrunk to a minor role.

Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in the St. Petersburg of the tsars, is determined to overreach his humanity and assert his untrammeled individual will. When he commits an act of murder and theft, he sets into motion a story that, for its excruciating suspense, its atmospheric vividness, and its depth of characterization and vision is almost unequaled in the literatures of the world. The best known of Dostoevsky’s masterpieces, Crime and Punishment can bear any amount of rereading without losing a drop of its power over our imaginations.