Re Cynthia Ozick’s CRIME & PUNISHMENT
Ms. Cynthia Ozick use of a history of recent assassins and then segue of her focus to a writer and one of his most famous novels CRIME AND PUNISHMENT elicits a twofold comment, first on assassinations, then on the novel, the first novel to make an impression on me as a youngster - both part of my comments obviously running under the aegis of “thou shalt not kill” a matter that some authors who regard themselves existentialists regard as a big hurdle proudly leapt, act gratuits? in their lives and their books. - I also want to remind of Brecht’s great and playful Lehrstueck The Measures Taken https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Decision_(play) that addresses this forever conundrum of within a revolutionary situation. – Note how cleverly Brecht deals with the House Un-American committee!
1- Assassinations have become routine under fascist regimes or as they develop and maintain their hegemony. The NAZI party was an assassination party, most famously of Rathenau; Obama was an assassination president who routinely blew a lot of wedding parties of CIA designated grrists to kingdom come and thought doing so was “a no-brainer” helping a whelp hosts of vengeful grissts; Peron was an assassin; no end of US supported dictators have been assassins; Stalin most famously of Trotsky; the US sought to assassinate Castro numerous time – assassination having become a routine state instrument would seem to me to be a more important subject than tying the variety of disparate assassins to Dostoevsky and one of his major characters - a good analyst might have cured him and Raskolnikov of their confusions… in which case of course we might not have those hair raising novels!... Lincoln’s assassination, McKinley’s , Kennedy’s … all committed for alleged idealistic vengeful reasons – the word assassinate of Arabic origin and Muslim practice--
a member of the Nizari branch of Ismaili Muslims at the time of the Crusades, when the newly established sect ruled part of northern Persia (1094–1256). They were renowned as militant fanatics, and were popularly reputed to use hashish before going on murder missions.
– Thus “oh how awful” when they do to us what we do routinely!... There is the murderous overthrow of the Iranian regime in the early 50s, the numerous US assassinations in Central America, I forget how many thousand Swedes St. Olaf killed during his conversions to the murderous Christian faith! Then there is Che Guevara killing capitalist whore-mongers instead of trying to re-educate the irredeemable. Himself assassinated by the CIA. What would a trial of Osama bin Laden have been like, if you see what I mean. But it might make for an interesting political play within that important post-WW II German tradition that reaches back as far as Buechner.
.2. Ms. Ozick’s wonderful reading of the novel reminds me that Crime and Punishment was the first novel to make a lasting impression on this avid reader of fairy tales and sagas about a decade into my traumatic childhood – reading it this would-be killer of his emasculating [Ms. No] governess [she had tried to force feed an otis media bed-ridden me and a kick had left her moaning on the floor; what’s worse, the grandmother to whom I rushed to report what had transpired, it seemed not to matter ] and thus I realized that I felt guilt ridden qualms, and must have not been entirely uncaring for the governess, and thus Crime and Punishment would seem to be a worth while educational tract as all the other matters that it is.