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Ronald Meyer Blogs about Working with Deborah Martinsen on Crime and Punishment
May 23, 2022

Ronald Meyer (Adjunct Associate Professor, Slavic Languages) wrote a blog post for Academic Studies Press about working with Deborah Martinsen on her book, Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”: A Reader’s Guide (2022)

Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”: A Reader’s Guide draws on Deborah’s particular strengths in narrative theory, which not only would show how things fit together in the novel, but also show teachers how to teach the novel. The chronological approach is outlined in Deborah’s book proposal:


This study of Crime and Punishment will focus on narrative strategy while considering both psychology and ideology. The focus on narrative strategy will demonstrate how Dostoevsky first plunges readers into Raskolnikov’s fevered brain, creating reader sympathy for him and explaining why most readers root for him to get away from the scene of the crime. Dostoevsky subsequently provides outsider perspectives on Raskolnikov’s thinking, effecting a conversion in reader sympathy.


All this supports her Introduction’s opening salvo: “Crime and Punishment is a psychological detective novel whose mystery lies not in the whodunit but in the whydunit—a question that perplexes protagonist and readers alike.”