Those of you kind enough to pay attention to these scribbled notes will know that towards the end of last year the path of my reading had lead me, ineluctably, to Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece, Crime and Punishment.
As the dark nights stretched out I began to make may way through the great length of this great novel. Only, somehow, in the darkness of those evenings I lost my way and eventually ground to a halt. I feared I would take a wrong interpretative step. The light from the lamp on my bureau guttered and flickered. It then became dim, turning from an amber glow to a sickly pallor.
I admit that I had made myself a map along the way – a list of character names. However, it was no good returning to this document without a compass and the time to re-orientate myself.
It is now starting to get a little lighter. The crocuses have emerged from the ground. And now, in this growing brightness I am resuming my reading. Although the text is a dark one – thematically, and in terms of its setting, I feel that this new springtime light will help guide me to the end of the text.
I’m picking up the action with 100 pages to go. Raskolnikov has just chatted to Porfiry, who has shown his hand.
I will write again when I’ve finished the novel.