Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 7 PM

Soul of Darkness

The Columns Hotel
Getting there
3811 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA

Spring is springing crisply bright and clear but you, my friends, are deep-diving into a peculiar darkness. I wonder: Where would you each place yourself on the scale of ordinary to extra-ordinary? At what cost glory? Would you confess to some secret moments when resentment builds at being overlooked-lumped in with the masses? Hmmmm? Come on…afraid to go there? You'd have plenty company. Be sure the vodka's in the freezer and don't forget to come up for air, as you read: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1866. "His first masterpiece, the novel is a psychological analysis of the poor former student Raskolnikov, whose theory that he is an extraordinary person able to take on the spiritual responsibility of using evil means to achieve humanitarian ends leads him to murder. The act produces nightmarish guilt in Raskolnikov. The story is one of the finest studies of the psychopathology of guilt written in any language. … He decides-through contradictory theories, including utilitarian morality and the belief that extraordinary people have the "right to transgress"-to murder Alyona Ivanovna, an elderly pawnbroker. Alyona's half sister, Lizaveta, arrives while he is rifling through Alyona's possessions, and he kills her too. … The narrative follows the twists and turns of Raskolnikov's emotions and elaborates his struggle with his conscience and the tightening noose of suspicion..." Regarding translations: There is the older, standard Constance Garnett version. Buy you might do better with the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsk. There are a few more recent translations-- by Michael Katz and another by Oliver Ready--that have received good reviews. New Orleans Public Library has many copies of the print, digital and audio formats. Jefferson Public Library. Jefferson Parish Library seems to have primarily the digital version with a few printed books. Gutenberg.org has free downloads and you can find low-cost copies online. As always, I plead with you DO NOT RSVP YES UNLESS YOU PLAN TO READ THE BOOK AND ATTEND! (You never know where that ax may fall.)