When we started reading the Russians I had a lot of expectations. I expected mental challenges, hidden meanings, complex plots, and even a bit of confusion here or there. What I did not expect was beauty advice. But there it was, right towards the beginning of Part Three, as Dostoevsky explains why Raskolnikov’s landlady might be a little jealous of Dunya, and even of her mother.
Although Pulcheria Alexandrovna was already forty-three years old, her face still kept the remnants of its former beauty, and besides, she looked much younger than her age, as almost always happens with women who keep their clarity of spirit, the freshness of their impressions, and the honest, pure ardor of their hearts into old age. Let us say parenthetically that keeping all this is the only means of preserving one’s beauty even in old age.
Yikes! I’m glad I read this now. My years of old age are quickly approaching, maybe with a clarity of spirit and a fresh impression or two I can turn things around.