About a month ago our friend Ruth celebrated reading the first ten WEM novels by ranking them with her own personal system. I enjoyed reading through the “awards” she bestowed on each title: most entertaining, most relevant, most controversial… I loved the idea. Being the wishy-washy girl that I am, I haven’t settled on my own “classic winners and honorable mentions”, but I can tell you what was my absolute favorite chapter of Crime and Punishment.
May I have the envelope please?
and the winner is… Part VI, chapter 5!
Do you find it strange that in my favorite chapter of C & P Raskolnikov has such a tiny role?
This is the chapter where Svidrigaïlov gives Rask the slip and meets up with Dounia. The chapter has everything a psychological thriller could want. There’s the luring of an innocent maiden. There’s the revealing of the brother-murderer. A good amount of promising happens that is meant to conceal entrapment. Threats on both sides make for a most suspenseful chapter ending.
Oh, it’s a great chapter. And the end! The End! Dounia has the revolver. Svid tells her to shoot… and she does! But then she doesn’t. And he lets her go.
I felt just like Willie Wonka in the movie: “The suspense is terrible… I hope it’ll last.”
Would you agree that this chapter was a winner, or would you have demanded a recount?