The dark world of ‘Crime and Punishment’

The dark world of ‘Crime and Punishment’

SAINT PETERSBURG - Agence France-Presse
The dark world of ‘Crime and Punishment’

The exhibit commemorates the 150th anniversary of ‘Crime and Punishment.’ AFP Photo

Inside an old Saint Petersburg apartment that was once home to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a new exhibition plunges visitors into the dark and complex world of “Crime and Punishment,” shedding new light on one of Russia’s greatest literary works 150 years after its publication.

Located in the heart of Russia’s former imperial capital, the exhibit explores the depths of a novel which won critical acclaim when first published in 1866 and went on to become one of Dostoyevsky’s best-known works.
In the museum, visitors are literally immersed in the novel whose full text is plastered over the walls, vying for space with an array of paintings, sketches, documents and antiques from 19th century Saint Petersburg.

First published in serial form in a literary journal, “Crime and Punishment” tells the story of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished young man who believes himself morally superior to everyone else and tries to test the limits of his freedom by murdering an elderly pawnbroker. 

He is then tormented by his actions, with the novel exploring themes such as the legitimacy of violence, the limits of freedom and the price of human life, quintessential hallmarks of Dostoyevsky’s works and of Russian literature as a whole.  

“Crime and Punishment” is a literary masterpiece which ranks alongside other classics of Russian literature such as Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” or works by Pushkin and Gogol.