Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the novel written by Dostoevsky and published in 1866, in which Raskolnikov, a struggling student, justifies his murder of two women, as his future is more valuable than their lives. He thinks himself superior, above the moral laws that apply to others. The police have little evidence against him but trust him to confess, once he cannot bear the mental torture of his crime - a fate he cannot avoid, any more than he can escape from life in St Petersburg and his personal failures.
The image above is from a portrait of Dostoevsky by Vasili Perov, 1872.
Associate Professor in Russian at the University of Leeds
Lecturer in Russian at the University of Oxford, Research Fellow at St Antony’s College and a translator of this novel
Associate Professor in Russian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
Producer: Simon Tillotson