Crime and Punishment: A New Translation (Hardcover)
As featured on PBS's The Great American Read
An event to be celebrated, a “rare Dostoesvsky translation” (William Mills Todd III, Harvard University) that fully captures the literary achievements of the original.
Published to great acclaim and fierce controversy in 1866, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment has left an indelible mark on global literature and our modern world, and is still known worldwide as the quintessential Russian novel. Readers of all backgrounds have debated its historical, cultural, and spiritual dimensions, probing the moral and ethical dilemmas that Dostoevsky so brilliantly stages throughout his narrative. Yet, at its heart, this masterpiece of literary realism is ultimately an immersive tale of passion and redemption—indeed, "the best of all murder stories" (Harold Bloom), "most perfect in pacing and structure. There is no more gripping novel in the world" (Michael Dirda).
Now, acclaimed translator Michael R. Katz breathes fresh life into this ageless classic in a sparkling new translation, with novel insights into the linguistic richness, subtle tones, and cunning humor of Dostoevsky’s magnum opus. Embracing the complex linguistic blend inherent in modern literary Russian that has provided an exceptionally fertile source of images and diction for Russian writers since the time of Pushkin, Katz recaptures the richness of tone and register of the novel’s most poignant and significant passages. Sensitive to this linguistic mosaic, Katz ably recreates the feeling of the original Russian for the English reader, allowing the text to evoke the same stirring emotional responses as the author intended.
With its searing and unique portrayal of the labyrinthine universe of nineteenth-century Russia, this masterful rendering of Crime and Punishment will be the translation of choice for years to come.
About the Author
Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and many other novels.
Michael R. Katz was born in New York and educated at Williams College and the University of Oxford. He taught Russian language and literature at Williams College, the University of Texas at Austin, and Middlebury College, where he is the C. V. Starr Professor Emeritus of Russian and East European Studies. He is the author of two monographs—The Literary Ballad in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature and Dreams and the Unconscious in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction—and the translator of over fifteen Russian novels into English, including works by Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. He lives in Cornwall, Vermont.
A rare Dostoevsky translation…a major contribution to the dissemination and understanding of the Russian novel.
— William Mills Todd III, Harvard University
These are the voices of Crime and Punishment, in all their original, dazzling variety: pensive, urgent, defiant, and triumphant. This new translation by Michael Katz revives the intensity Dostoevsky’s first readers experienced, and proves that Crime and Punishment still has the power to surprise and enthrall us.
— Susan McReynolds, Northwestern University
Mesmerizingly good…the best, truest translation of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece into English. It’s a magnificent, almost terrifying achievement of translation, one that makes its predecessors, however worthy, seem safe and polite.
— Steve Donoghue - Open Letters Monthly