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Crime and Punishment:
Murder as Philosophic Experiment

A D Nuttall

This compelling examination of Dostoevsky’s disturbing account of murder and its consequences asks not only why Raskolnikov killed, but also why Dostoevsky chose to unfold the account of the crime as he did.

The book investigates Raskolnikov’s philosophical and psychological motivation (or lack of motivation), with reference to Mill, Bentham and Sartre amongst others, and draws fascinating parallels with Hamlet as another essentially existentialist murderer, dogged by hesitation and perhaps even mental illness.

Not drawn into a reductive reading of the text, Nuttall instead proposes a rich inter-relationship between structure and content, and ends with a profound description of the nature of mind.

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