2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:27 pm

"Crime and Punishment" Reading Plan:
Based on
1) the total word count of the book: 211,591 words
2) our reading speed: assumed at a speed of 120 words/per minute, which is about half of the average native readers
3) daily available time to read: 30 minutes/per day
So, we can finish the book in two months.

“Crime and Punishment” Tentative Book Study Plan:
Part I: 10 days (08/18/19 – 08/27/19)
Part II: 12 days (08/28/19 – 09/08/19)
Part III: 9 days (09/09/19 – 09/18/19)
Part IV: 9 days (09/19/19 – 09/27/19)
Part V: 8 days (09/28/19 – 10/05/19)
Part VI: 10 days (10/06/19 – 10/15/19)
Epilogue: 3 days (10/15/19 – 10/17/19)
Iris Wu
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:27 pm

CONVERSATION ON LINE YOYO BOOK READING GROUP:

2019-07-17
16:46 Sherry Since the book is a translation from Russian language, would anyone recommend a version for me? Should I simply choose the cheapest one? :
20:14 Iris Wu Hi, Sherry: The wiki page for your reference.
21:21 Stephen Chiu Oops! I bought the one translated by Fyodor Dostoyevsky...
21:27 Stephen Chiu Sorry, Mr. Dostoyevsky is the original author....
21:29 Iris Wu Right! So who's the translator?
21:29 Stephen Chiu The translator is Sidney Mona’s.
21:29 Stephen Chiu Monas
21:55 Iris Wu I think it should be OK. There are quite a few Russian books translated by Monas.
21:59 Stephen Chiu But I didn’t pay much attention to the size of the book. It’s a bit small for my eyes...
22:02 Stephen Chiu I mean the font size as well.
22:19 Iris Wu D'oh! Maybe get a (magnifying glass)? (smiley face)
2019.07.24 Wednesday
19:29 Stephen Chiu Hi, group members, Which version you think is better?
22:35 Iris Wu For me, the second one is easier to read. The first one seems a bit too literal.
But if you were asking which one is “a better version of English” in word/phrase selection, sentence structure, etc., maybe @Kat or Devry can help us?

19:32 Kat Thanks, Iris, for relaying Stephen's the question. I compared the two versions in question with yet a third translation online. Without being able to read the Russian original, I can only analyze their English writing in terms of details either conveyed or omitted, and if there’re discrepancies among the three. From just the first page (I wish I had more to use for this fun exercise! :)) of the first two versions, I feel that I’d prefer the first one. Its wording is fancier and with a “period” feel to it, to be sure. But as a translator (and writer) myself I’d really wish every single information (and nuance) that the author may try to convey can be delivered to the readers, and as faithfully as possible. Because an author truly agonies over every word they finally put down. So Stephen, what’s the publisher and translator of the first version? And hope my two cents is helpful!
19:36 Kat But from a reader’s (and teacher’s) point of view, any version that makes you want to turn the page is the one for you! :D Some styles are so off-putting that the readers simply can’t enjoy the experience. What’s the point of reading, then?
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:28 pm

21:05 Iris Wu Thanks, Kat!
I knew the first one is the more popular version translated by a couple, Pevear & Volokhonsky, since I got it on my Kindle.

The second one might be by Sidney Monas? (Stephen mentioned he got Monas’ version.)
21:48 Iris Wu Agreed!
I would go easy on myself. The book (story) is challenging already!
22:52 Stephen Chiu @Kat & Iris, the first one is the version translated by David McDuff. The second one is by Sidney Monas.
23:18 Stephen Chiu @Kat, Thanks for your input. It helps me see the difference more clearly. Indeed, the first one is “with a “period” feel to it”.
23:21 Stephen Chiu @Iris, I would definitely go easy on myself as well :)
23:27 Iris Wu Oh, sorry! I only looked the first sentence... and assumed it's the same one as mine. Lesson learned, never "assume" anything!

2019.07.25 Thursday
00:46 Kat A particular or distinct “period feel” to a writing is often essential for genres such as historical, fantasy, Western, steampunk, literary, etc. To create a sense of time and place, and to add texture to the central themes. Just think Chinese Kung Fu novels with certain flair in the wording.
2019.07.27 Saturday
16:25 Katie Hu left the group.
2019.08.02 Friday
16:41 Wen-han Chan https://everylittled.com/article/122697 ... VxswSd3zVY
16:42 Wen-han Chan FYI, you may not be the only one
17:15 Iris Wu Haha! “Crime and Punishment” is on the list!
Thanks, Wen-Han! You are challenging us!

To my surprise, “To kill a mockingbird” (梅崗城的故事) is on the list, too!
Early this year, I finished it in no time. I thought it was a very pleasant read.

Now, “Crime and Punishment”! It’s for sure more challenging than “To Kill a Mockingbird”, but, hey, for people who can finish “Homo Sapiens/Homo Deus”, it should be NO big deal, right?!
17:23 Iris Wu (People who finished Homo Sapiens, I meant you, Wen-Han!
17:23 christine Ha ha, I've finished The catcher in the rye
19:02 Wen-han Chan thanks Iris, I guess I am too shallow to follow you on crime and punishment this time. you guys have fun!

2019.08.03 Saturday
00:01 Iris Wu Ok, next time, let’s see if we can find something as “shallow” as Homo Sapiens!

2019.08.05 Monday
11:21 christine How many people will be reading Crime & Punishment this time?
11:43 Iris Wu I did not dare ask!
11:46 christine I see. So, any schedule for the reading?
11:52 Iris Wu Thanks for checking, Christine!

I’ve thought about asking those who are thinking to read along, do you think 3 months (Aug. to Oct.) is enough?
11:52 christine maybe
11:53 christine but I didn't have a book yet
11:53 christine I'm interested in reading it again
11:55 Iris Wu Then, I’ll just post a preliminary reading schedule. And we can adjust it accordingly if we get more readers.
11:57 christine that's fine. thank you
12:12 Iris Wu By the way, I got the version translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky. I am only in the first few pages, but I think the translation is ok.

Quite a lot of new vocabulary to start with, but I think as long as we overcome it in the early stage, we should be able to immerse ourselves in the story.
12:13 christine I still remember the story a bit. We could take the challenge... he he
12:24 Iris Wu Somebody sent me this brief introduction about Dostoyevsky and why he could put psychological and philosophical ideas deeply in his writings.

Just for your reference:
https://youtu.be/2_swezDO5O4
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:32 pm

2019.08.06 Tuesday
22:40 christine welcome Jason to join the Reading group.

2019.08.07 Wednesday
09:43 Iris Wu Welcome, Jason! The book reading group has read a few books in the past. We are just going to start the reading of "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoevsky.

09:57 Iris Wu Hi, All: I am going to use some basic math to do our book study plan.
Based on
1) the total word count of the book: 211,591 words
2) our reading speed: assumed at a speed of 120 words/per minute, which is about half of the average native readers
3) daily available time to read: 30 minutes/per day
So, we can finish the book in two months.

“Crime and Punishment” Tentative Book Study Plan:
Part I: 10 days (08/18/19 – 08/27/19)
Part II: 12 days (08/28/19 – 09/08/19)
Part III: 9 days (09/09/19 – 09/18/19)
Part IV: 9 days (09/19/19 – 09/27/19)
Part V: 8 days (09/28/19 – 10/05/19)
Part VI: 10 days (10/06/19 – 10/15/19)
Epilogue: 3 days (10/15/19 – 10/17/19)

10:17 Iris Wu Actually the book reading group should be very open. It was just because nobody has time to organize the discussion, I became the one to drag everybody into the book I selected.
10:22 Iris Wu I should have encouraged everyone to share their own reading. As I know, Holly has read "Big Little Lies" and is reading "The Husband's Secret"; both are by Liane Moriarty. We read The Husband's Secret last year and it was a fun one. Tim is "listening" Elon Musk biography...
10:30 Iris Wu Hope we get more people to share their reading and thoughts!

2019.08.10 Saturday
23:05 Iris Wu invited 黃馨嬋Sunny to the group.
2019.08.11 Sunday
21:53 Iris Wu For those who are considering to join, I think it’s not as difficult as we thought.

The first 50 pages (3-4 chapters) might be a bit challenging because we were not familiar with the background and the writing style (monologues, continuous self-talk...), but after that I feel the impulse to read through, to know what happened next...
2019.08.18 Sunday
11:13 黃馨嬋Sunny There're too many versions in Amazon Kindle, pls kindly recommend...
11:37 Iris Wu Added a new note.
11:45 Iris Wu Hi, Sunny: I did post the wiki page, but I forgot to save it in the notes.
I am reading the one translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky. But I downloaded the Garnett version as well since it’s free.
It’s good for reference.

2019.08.19 Monday
08:14 Iris Wu Dear All:
Our “Crime and Punishment” book reading has officially begun!
Hopefully, by now, those who would like to read “Crime and Punishment” have settled an English version of it.
08:14 Iris Wu
So far, the versions by translators have been brought up in our reading group:
• Constance Garnett (1914)
• Sidney Monas (1968)
• David McDuff (1991)
• Pevear & Volokhonsky (1992)
On the internet, you can see some people recommended other translators’ work, such as Oliver Ready (2014).
Each generation may have a new version of translation to meet “modern” language requirements, but it doesn’t mean that some century-old versions did not flow gracefully.

08:15 Iris Wu My recommendation is to get a more contemporary version for your main reading but obtain a free version (no copyright) for reference.
In my case, I got Pevear and Volokhonsky to read, and Garnett’s for reference. I did find some occasions, Garnett’s translation helped me better understand some of Dostoyevsky’s ideas/philosophical thoughts.

08:43 Iris Wu My second recommendation is to read it on digital format, because there are quite a lot of new vocabulary, especially many adjectives to describe mental/emotional states and many “things” that we are not familiar with because of its historical background. With digital platform, it’s much easier to look up context-sensitive electronic dictionaries, which helps you move quickly and feel less frustration. Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but it does work for me in this regard.

08:44 Iris Wu The third recommendation is to get a “Crime and Punishment Character List” for your reference when reading the book. We are easy to get lost in those Russian names (not just long, but also different nicknames), so the character list is definitely a good supplemental reading material.

14:53 黃馨嬋Sunny Last night I just finished chapter 1...trying to catch up, ha
14:54 黃馨嬋Sunny I read Pevear and Volokhonsky version, from Amazon Kindle
15:19 christine Stickers
15:19 christine All of you are working hard
15:20 黃馨嬋Sunny cos my husband and kids weren't in the house.....but they are back today
15:22 christine good time always fly even faster than normal. But, don't worry, September is just around the corner....
19:43 Iris Wu Wow! It's only the first day! A great progress! Right, if women were not overburdened with their families, they got so much potential!
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:35 pm

2019.08.21 Wednesday
16:41 Iris Wu How is your reading so far?
I came across this video the other day: “Why should you read “Crime and Punishment”? - Alex Gendler” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtkv3-endYc )

At first, I was debating if I should post it now, because I didn't want us to be influenced by many others’ opinions. I tried not to read any discussion or comments online until I was almost at two-thirds of the book.
16:42 Iris Wu But on the other hand, I was worried you might drop the reading prematurely because I know the book seems “tedious” in terms of the description, the story plots, and the characters’ dialogues. For me, it was until almost at half of (47%) the book, I just started seeing the “philosophical conversation” between the main character, Raskolnikov, and his investigator.

I don’t think I can do better job to talk you into staying reading than the video. It was a good summary of the book. Hope it gives you the "faith/strength" to keep reading!

16:44 林子豪Js thank you
16:46 Iris Wu You are quite welcome! I think even for those who do not have time to read the book, it is a good reference to understand Dostoevsky's work!

09:23 黃馨嬋Sunny Don't worry, I don't think it's tedious, though i sometimes get confused with Russian name.
09:28 黃馨嬋Sunny But since i read it through kindle, i can search / double-check names in e-book very quickly.... so i can clearly figure out the story plot.
09:34 黃馨嬋Sunny Compared to 百年孤寂, in which names are more similar, more repeated, and longer, it's okay

That’s good to know, Sunny! (I’ll stop nagging from now on….haha!)

Yes, e-Reader does have many context-sensitive functions (lookup dictionary, word translation, searching, making notes, etc.)
It makes the reading a lot easier, especially this type of masterpieces.

19:45 Kat Hi Iris, So sorry to have only caught this just now! (I may be in Taipei in March so will try the first meet. I think I've missed way too much discussion, but will pop in when I can!
2019.08.24 Saturday
08:50 Iris Wu invited Lewis Lu to the group.
08:51 Lewis Lu joined the group.
08:58 Iris Wu Welcome, Lewis!
Please take a look the notes in this group.
We’ve started the reading of Crime and Punishment, and we planned to finish it in two months.
08:59 Lewis Lu Nice! Let me take a look for the notes.
08:59 Stephen Chiu Dear Iris, I am reading two different versions at the same time. I found that the Garnett one is the most approachable for me. So I read this version first and read one translated by David McDuff afterwards chapter by chapter. And I found it very interesting to compare the wording between various versions.
09:02 Stephen Chiu BTW, I also play the word guessing game that Michael hosts as well, of course, as a short break for our book reading.
09:03 Iris Wu Great! Let us know if you have any questions, because I did not record everything in the notes.
I usually compile some of our conversations/discussion in the Line group and post it on the forum (Affiliated Reading Group).

I will do the same shortly for this book.
09:03 Iris Wu That’s so nice to know, Stephen!
Yes. It IS very interesting to compare two versions!
09:05 Iris Wu Haha! Even I could not resist the temptation to play it yesterday.
09:28 Message unsent.
09:30 Iris Wu In terms of checking two versions (or more), I really wanted to do so in many occasions, but I am constrained by available time for now. I’ve marked a few places to review/re-read them in different translations.

@Stephen Chiu Maybe we can exchange our books later (or somehow get the paragraphs from yours and mine to compare)?
09:37 Iris Wu For those who are familiar with “Crime and Punishment” or reading the book, what do you think Dostoyevsky’s description/illustration of his characters?
09:50 Message unsent.
09:51 Iris Wu There are so many characters in his novel, but each one seems so vivid. You can picture them in your mind, just like in the movie or in the real world. Do you feel the same way?
10:02 Stephen Chiu Iris, I am more than happy to do the exchange. A comparison for some selective paragraphs is interesting as well for sure.
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:36 pm

2019.08.27 Tuesday
05:28 Michael Liu Stephen, thanks for your support. Haha!
2019.08.28 Wednesday
16:17 Iris Wu For all "Crime and Phunishment" readers: I’d like to apologize for having a false start. I started reading the book about two weeks before our official beginning date (8/18/19), mainly because I will be traveling for the whole of September.
16:17 Iris Wu This is a heavy-duty book, but finishing the reading is an achievable milestone. The most important, hope it’s an unforgettable journey. I cannot use “a pleasant journey”, because the story is “heavy”, you do feel aching, suffocating and sometimes heart-wrenching.
It is amazing that we were sitting there to read everything going through a murderer’s mind and thoughts. The ugliest thing in the world became “bearable”? “Bearable” doesn’t mean we agree with or tolerate the crime, but how amazing that we could sit side by side with a murderer and wish the crime would have never happened.
16:17 Iris Wu I think some of you have already had good progress. Here I have a couple of questions. If you get some free time, just share your thoughts with the group:
16:18 Iris Wu 1) What do you think Dostoyevsky’s description/illustration of his characters/scenes?
Interestingly, Dostoevsky actually drew “elaborate doodles”, sketches and calligraphy in his manuscripts:
http://www.openculture.com/2014/01/fyodor-dostoevsky-draws-elaborate-doodles-in-his-manuscripts.html

16:18 Iris Wu 2) What other books that you can relate to or associate with while reading “Crime & Punishment”? In what way they were related?
16:18 Iris Wu 3) What’s your opinion about Dostoevsky’s writing style? A lot of monologues (inner dialogues), mental state descriptions, self-reasoning processes, and others? Is it easy to be successful with that kind of writing style? What makes you continue reading it?
16:18 Iris Wu 4) Would you like to share one or two parts of the book, either a conversation, a description of scene, or a paragraph of monologues, that made you feel aching, suffocating or heart-wrenching?
16:19 Iris Wu 5) How did the historical background impact the story?
16:21 Iris Wu Added a new note.
2019.09.01 Sunday
21:05 Sherry Hi Iris, these are great questions, though I am not ready to answer most of them. You are right that this is not a "pleasant" journey. Actually it's a painful one - after reading the first two chapters I felt that I could not bear it anymore. I suspended it for a while, and the very reason that urged me on was the awareness that I was in a reading group, that you guys must have somehow experienced the feeling I was suffering. Still, for the following chapters, I always had to gulp down a glass of whisky to make myself less "sensitive" to the description and plot before I could take up where I left off.
21:06 Sherry In the first few chapters everything seemed confusing for me, such as Raskolnikov’s rapid mood swings, his morbid oblivion and loathing. But after reading a couple more chapters , his disposition and thought became clear and coherent. When Raskolnikov committed the crime, it was just as if I was standing there, with my eyes wide open, watching him swing the axe and bring it down, again raise it and bring it down, to the wicked woman, to the innocent one. It seemed so reasonable as if it just ought to be... I could really relate to him so that yesterday when I walked out the exit of mrt, I was scared by the sunlight reflecting into my eye. At that time I got an illusion that I was the murderer and trembled ...
21:07 Sherry I am in chapter 5 of part two, about 25 percent of the book so far. Just wanted to chalk up some thoughts and feelings en route. It has become a gripping and frightening read: Will something more devastating happen next? Will the book keep torturing me? But maybe the most I will gain from the book is weight, for alcohol is calorie-rich
22:38 黃馨嬋Sunny unsent a message.
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:38 pm

2019.09.02 Monday
06:07 Stephen Chiu Indeed, I felt so heavy-hearted that I can hardly breathe sometimes reading the first two chapters. For a few days, I even feel depressed as if I was dragged into the situation described in the book.
06:11 Stephen Chiu And I did have to stop the reading for a couple of days before I could continue...
23:16 Sherry Hi Stephen, thank you for letting me know that I am not alone. That's what a reading group is for! So far my Ardbeg Uigeadail works fine with the book. Let me pour you a glass next time we meet. I am sure it will make you feel better.
23:46 Iris Wu @Sherry You are not alone. I did gain weight, too, while reading the book. I think it was because I was sitting there and not moving for too long!
23:48 Message unsent.
23:55 Iris Wu But as for the illusion, you were so much more into the book than most of us. If not, then, that must be the effect of alcohol! :) For a few settings in the book, the convesation really made me feel like I was on the spot and felt helpless or felt the anger/pain as some of the characters, such as his beautiful sister, Dunya and his friend, Sonya, the one he confessed to.
2019.09.03 Tuesday
00:20 Iris Wu @Stephen Chiu Did you check some more parts in different translation? I was in a hurry trying to finish the book, so I just marked a few parts that I wanted to check them out. Hope I get to do that soon and then we can do some comparison!
08:38 Stephen Chiu @Iris Wu After reading the first two chapters, I found that it’s just too tormenting to go through the same path overgrown with spiritual brambles. So, I am now switching between two versions by chapters. Yet, I will try my best to select some pain-worthy paragraphs for comparisons along the way.
08:49 Stephen Chiu I am afraid that a glass of Ardbeg Uigeadail might knock me out ... Japanese Sake will do for me.
09:04 黃馨嬋Sunny The most vocabularies used in crime and punishment are probably torment, oblivion, and their various synonyms
09:07 黃馨嬋Sunny But i don't feel so suffering like you guys, i don't know why...
13:58 Stephen Chiu unsent a message.
21:44 Iris Wu @黃馨嬋Sunny Yes, a lot of "emotion" type of vocabulary in the book!
21:49 Michael Liu Ardbeg Uigeadail 是什麼酒?
23:04 Iris Wu I guess it was more of "feeling depressed" for the first half, but when you get to second half, especially after Part V Chapter 3 (Sonya's family tragedy), it is quite soul-stirring. It’s not real suffering, but we just feel the author is quite good at taking his readers into the emotional states of his characters.
23:10 Iris Wu Just google it, Scotch Whisky! Is that right, @Sherry? (We can merge with YoYo Wine Group!
2019.09.04 Wednesday
07:26 Sherry Yes. Ardbeg Uigeadail is a scotch whisky, to be specific it's a peated scotch. It tastes salted, peated, and smoky.

This novel is too "strong" for me. In part one there are lots of heavy, dark, bitter, and even brutal descriptions. To balance this gut punch feeling this iodine and Band-Aids flavor scotch becomes a good match.

If you are interested in peated malts, there are a variety of choices. This bottle may not be the best, but it's a good value for the price.
2019.09.05 Thursday
08:47 Iris Wu Wow! The descriptions (adjectives) for wine are as rich as those (the descriptions) of pain in the book!
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註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:39 pm

2019.09.25 Wednesday
16:28 Iris Wu Dear C&P book readers:

How is the reading?
Hopefully you’ve either finished the book or got through most parts of it.

We probably dare not “criticize” the world famous novel, but it is ok to express our true feelings for the journey of reading the book!
16:29 Iris Wu I actually got chance to attend Kat’s meetup in New Delhi, India, and we were discussing “Crime and Punishment” with a bunch Indian guys (and a girl)!

(Many thanks to Kat for inviting me to the meetup!
We walked back to the hotel at 9:00pm in Delhi street and felt ok after the discussion of “Crime and Punishment”.
It was a fun experience! :)
16:30 Iris Wu Though the heavy Indian accent troubled me a bit, fortunately I’d almost finished the book, so I was able to chat with them and understand some different opinions because of the different culture.

For example,
—the death penalty in their society,

—this crime and Punishment is justified or not from the their viewpoint, and

—the most interesting question, “Do you believe Love (Sonja’s) can be the force for him to confess and take the punishment that he could have escaped?
16:31 Iris Wu What do you think the last question?

I’ll share with you what the Indians thought about this later.
19:51 余思亮Joseph Cool, what a coincidence!
11:08 christine Cool!!!! Wonderful experience !
11:08 christine I'm looking forward to it!
15:31 Kat Iris, the whole meetup happened because you got me to revisit the book, plus you got me in India in the first place. So it was a super special memory! Thank you for sharing it with me.
20:56 Michael Liu By the way, I wonder what Indian people think about death penalty. My guess is they don't care because they believe in reincarnation. Is my guess correct?
2019.09.27 Friday
08:09 Iris Wu First, it was a nice meetup; more than 10 people showed up. Most of them are young, in their 20’s or early 30’s and work in professional areas. I cannot say their opinions represent the majority Indians, but a couple of them I talked to were all for death penalty. Hinduism does not speak clearly for or against capital punishment. It is a debatable subject in India as well. Maybe we can ask Ramesh and find out more if religion (or the concept of incarnation) plays a role in their capital punishment decision.

08:14 Iris Wu As for the question, if “love” can make a killer confess and submit (turn himself in) to the punishment which he could have escaped/avoided?
The Indian girl and other gentlemen said that Indians are more family-oriented, they do not (so much) believe in romantic love, which they said is western product. They said Indians would consider everything for their family first. In the case of the crime in the novel, if Raskolnikov (the main character in the novel) had been an Indian, he would have made a decision based on the needs of his mom and his sister; Sonja’s love would have had less effect on his decision. I thought about their arranged marriage and others. It is pretty convincing for what they presented.

08:29 余思亮Joseph What a insightful observation.
10:59 Iris Wu Yes! I thought they had a good reflective examination (self-contemplation)!
2019.10.04 Friday
23:29 Iris Wu Hi, @黃馨嬋Sunny and @christine : How is your reading?

Do you think finishing this one is a “great accomplishment”? What do you like/dislike the most in this novel?
23:35 Iris Wu Hi, @Stephen Chiu & @Sherry
I know you two have (or almost) finished the book, what do you think about Raskolnik? Is he cruel or compassionate? Can a person be both?
(Anyone can answer the question.
23:42 Iris Wu Notes: Raskolnikov, the main character in the book, committed a double murder, but all his life had been very compassionate to helping others as proved and witnessed by his friends and classmates.
Is this possible in real life or it only exists in a novel/drama?
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:40 pm

2019.10.05 Saturday
09:04 黃馨嬋Sunny I'm currently in part 6-6, where Svidrigailov’s subplot expands dramatically...
09:27 黃馨嬋Sunny But i think i'd better zip my lip now...spoiler alert! Need some time to compose my mood and organize my thoughts upon this novel. I think the author is trying to make him be in comparsion with Roskolnikov?
09:32 christine Honestly, I’m quite far behind because of some reasons sorry about that.
11:30 Sherry I am in part 6-1 now. I'd like to boldly show my opinions (grin) (but they may change after I read more):
11:44 Sherry — warning: spoilers ahead —

I think Raskolnikov, like many of us, thought he was different from ordinary people so he could do something big, only his big thing was to kill an old crone and robbed her. But the "accident" of killing her innocent sister wrenched his spirit. Sometimes he thought it was justified, like Napoleon dare to kill at all costs to achieve his extraordinary goals. Sometimes he wondered if he was able to step over (was he a real man? or a louse like all the rest?)
11:54 Sherry The killing of Lizaveta had a big impact on Raskolnikov’s mind. I think he somehow mixed the images of Lizaveta and Sonya, for they were both timid and obedient, and were both oppressed by the environment. I wonder if Raskolnikov really "loved" Sonya. In my opinion, he approached her and confessed his crime to her mainly to ease his guilt at Lizaveta. So did his help to the Marmeladov's family.
12:02 Sherry I do believe Sonya's love was real (Sonya was simple-minded, that's why she easily fell in love?). I expect her love will have some substantial influence on Raskolnikov in later chapters. I'll see.
12:07 Stephen Chiu I’d like to bring up the other character,Svidrigailov, who Impressed me with his words, “Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery.”
12:07 Stephen Chiu He elaborated it further , “If there’s the hundredth part of a false note in speaking the truth, it leads to a discord, and that leads to trouble. But if all, to the last note, is false in flattery, it is just as agreeable, and is heard not without satisfaction. It may be a coarse satisfaction, but still a satisfaction.”
22:42 Iris Wu No worries!
As I said all the time, I admire you all very much. When I was working, I did not have the bandwidth to accommodate anything other than my work! You are already so much better than I was!
22:44 Iris Wu @黃馨嬋Sunny, @Sherry & @Stephen Chiu
Sorry for the “roll call”, and thanks for all the feedback! Now I feel great, the reading group is not a monologue blog!

I just got back today. Please give me some time to digest your comments and reply later.
23:00 黃馨嬋Sunny @christine no worries~~i was actually far behind, too. i just read and caught up in the airplane (i was back from london last week). i could not read it smoothly cos' i got confused by their names all the time.
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:43 pm

2019.10.06 Sunday
22:38 Iris Wu Sunny & Sherry are very thoughtful! I forgot all about spoiler alert in the previous questions!
22:39 Iris Wu A lot to discuss the protagonist, Raskolnikov’s dual personality. Yes, he had this “extraordinary man” theory; he believed the theory that a super ordinary person would not be confined by any rules or laws. They are the ones creating laws and rules that ordinary people follow. Killing the pawnbroker seems an exercise of the theory. I am with Sherry on this one.
22:40 Iris Wu As far as his feeling to Sonya was a true love or a redemption to Lizaveta (the second victim of his crime), Sherry has her plausible arguments, but I think he helped the Marmeladov's family before he met Sonya. I don’t have the impression that he felt for Sonya was because she reminded him about Lizaveta..
22:42 Iris Wu Why did he trust her and confess to her about the crime? My theory is that they both were “imperfect”, with Sonya, his confession would not be judged. Sonya had the personality that she showed him the path, but she did not comment or ask him to do anything. From the moment she read the Bible verses to him to the end she accompanied him in Siberia, she never “judged” him and never asked him to change his belief or anything. If she reminded him anyone, I would think Sonya was closer to Raskolnikov’s deceased fiancée, his landlord’s daughter, who died because of sickness. (The book did not talk about her (the deceased fiancée) much, but I remember he had a letter or something he kept dearly about her.)
22:45 Iris Wu Svidrigailov is such a character that he really knows how to do things politically right!
How do you like the statements Stephen quoted from the book? Do you agree with it?
“Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery.”
22:45 Iris Wu Mainly it said if a person tells 99% of truth and only the last 1% of his statements is false, it still leads to trouble, but if a person tells 99% false statements, and at the last one percent is a falsely flattery, you will still be feeling mostly satisfied.

Well-said. Stephen is nice to point out a great statement that we can all benefit from. :)

22:54 Iris Wu Some people said that Svidrigailov and Sonya represent the dual characters of Raskolnikov. I need to think about this. What do you say?
2019.10.07 Monday
22:44 Michael Liu Today I saw a book at book store. Bill Gates commented: 太好看了!It is a true story fraud similar to Bad Blood. Maybe it can be our next book. We can have a vote.(Sorry for the interruption)
22:53 Iris Wu That’s great, Michael!
I was thinking to solicit suggestions for our next reading!

What is the name of the book?
We will have a closing session soon for “Crime and Punishment” and we should start to plan for the next one.
22:59 Michael Liu The book name is Billion Dollar Whale
2019.10.08 Tuesday
18:46 Iris Wu Thanks, Michael!
Sounds an interesting one!

We used to take turns hosting the book reading. Shall we try that again? I will definitely support the reading.
19:10 Michael Liu Haha, Iris, you feel exhausted to be the leader? Everybody here looks up to you. Anyway, after we decide the book, we can decide the leader.
22:43 Iris Wu Ha! Michael, you got my point!

I think changes are always good!

I’ll post a closing session for “Crime and Punishment” soon, then we can move on, aiming the third book of the year!!!
23:16 Lewis Lu Nice!
23:55 Iris Wu Hi, Lewis: Hope you can join our final session. I will have a “legal” question for you: Is the sentence justified from a legal point of view? (Mainly, do the reasons to reduce his sentence make sense?)

I think I can get a quick summary of the story, so anyone can join us for a fun discussion. :)
23:58 Iris Wu @黃馨嬋Sunny Could you check your private Line message? Thanks!
2019.10.09 Wednesday
03:15 Sherry Just finished the book. It was so good! Couldn't put it down for the last few chapters (thumbs up)
11:03 Kat When is the final discussion / meet? (moon laugh)
18:36 Message unsent.
18:37 Iris Wu Hi, Kat: We will have our final discussion at 3:00pm, Saturday, 10/19.
It would be so nice if you can join us! :)
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:45 pm

2019.10.11 Friday
09:37 Iris Wu Deal All: May I invite you to join our “Crime and Punishment” closing session?
09:38 Iris Wu When: 2:30pm, Saturday, 10/19/2019
Where: Dante Café (YoYo meeting venue)
Who to attend: Anyone who is interested in the book
(Notes: In our India meetup, most attendees either did not read or had not finished the book, but they joined us and we managed to have great conversation. (smile))

09:39 Iris Wu A brief and concise summary of the novel for your reference:
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Crime- ... ment-novel

09:40 Iris Wu Meeting Agenda:
Mainly, free-form discussion about the book. Following agenda/questions are merely suggestions:
• Your overall comments about the book: 3-4 minutes per person.
• Which character(s) impressed you or made you feel for the most?
• Would you like to share any particular plot(s) or paragraph(s)/quote(s) that inspired you or made you feel heart-wrenching?
• How do you like the epilogue (the ending) of the book?
• What do you think of Raskolinkov’s sentence? Is it justified for his crime?
• What makes the book a classic?
09:42 Iris Wu Added a new note.
09:50 Iris Wu Or maybe we should add one more: Why do many people keep the book on the bookshelf and did not finish it? (This is to answer the statistics that Wenhan brought up earlier. :)

09:50 Iris Wu Or maybe we should add one more: Why do many people keep the book on the bookshelf and did not finish it? (This is to answer the statistics that Wenhan brought up earlier. :)

We are going to have a final discussion for “Crime and Punishment” this coming Saturday, 10/19.
Please take a look the notes in the group.

Everyone is welcome to join the discussion!

13:04 Iris Wu Dear All:
This is a friendly reminder –
We will have our “Crime and Punishment” final session at Dante, 2:30pm, Saturday, 10/19/2019.
13:04 Iris Wu The main theme of the book is surrounded by the ideas of crime and punishment, as the book title clearly described.
Most people did not have time to read the whole book. No worries, we can take it from more general aspects to discuss.
13:04 Iris Wu The whole story and many characters in the book reminded us:
• People who seem to be “sanctimonious” (a big word that I’ve never used before, meaning “making a show of being morally superior to other people”) or pose himself as a person of high morals are not necessarily good people.
• People who are low-ranking are not necessarily the ones who should be cast aside.
What do you think about these arguments? And how should people's values be defined?
13:04 Iris Wu Then for "guilty" people, what is the "crime" in their hearts?
• More or less, serious or minor we all hold certain “guilt” in our minds, agree?
• How do people rationalize our “guilt”?
• To what extent, our guilt cannot be vindicated, cannot be justified and rationalized? And what would people do by then?

08:44 Stray Sabrina Dear all

As you know, i have serious dyslexia , so I borrowed the audio book, CliffsNotes on Dostoevsky's Crime and punishment, from library
Although I can't understand 100%, at least, I almost finished it
I feel so sad and angry one is the girls need to sacrifice themselves for the bad guys.
At beginning , he tried to cover his crime but he still can't help to convince because he felt very guilty after he killed them
I think it is not fair about his sentence. If he just killed the former one, maybe yes, but he killed the latter one, the naive girl, I think he deserved the life imprisonment, he had to do hard labor for atoning in Siberia
It describes the human being deeply to make it become so successful especially the master, he was so excellent but his life was struggled because had no rich dad. It's very realistic, right

I am so sad because I am not available to join today's meeting, have a nice afternoon

10:11 Iris Wu Hi, Sabrina: It's nice to hear your comments! I am so sorry that you cannot join us today. Hope we get some other time to chat on some of your ideas! I am sure many of the readers think the sentence was not quite fair. That's why I asked that question. Many of the Indian guys had similar opinions. But from the other angle, Dostovesky presented it in a pretty convincing way, too. I think there are readers with strong sympathy. Is he a bad guy? Good or bad guy, is it always as clear as black and white?
10:22 Lewis Lu See you soon Iris!

10:48 Kat We'll be there, Iris! So wonderful to have the opportunity to explore the book again! THANKS!
10:52 Iris Wu Great! We can hear all of your thoughts today, not just my monologues!
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週六 10月 26, 2019 11:46 pm

2019.10.20 Sunday
23:01 Iris Wu Hi, All:

I just found out that we stayed on our schedule so perfectly for the “Crime and Punishment” book reading!
It took exactly two months, 8/18– 10/17, and we had a very productive final discussion on Saturday, 10/19.
23:07 Iris Wu Many thanks to those who listened to our conversation, voiced out your opinions, took time and effort to read the book, and participated in the final discussion.

Our special thank goes to Wen-han, who posted an article about the top 10 books that people bought but never finished (something like是裝文青用的). I remember “Crime and Punishment” was on the list.

I guess we were challenged, so we had to prove we could do better than just “being a hipster”!
23:08 Iris Wu In our final discussion, everyone talked about the vivid characters, the causes and the theories of the crime, the reasons for confession, and the fairness of the punishment.

I appreciated the diligent readers: Christine, Sherry, Sunny, Stephen, Sabrina. Without you, I am not sure if I had energy to complete the mission.
23:08 Iris Wu And I want to thank Lewis, Jerry, Kat and Lydia for joining our final discussion and brought up their professional viewpoints about legal issues, US jury system comparison, and questions on those gunmen’s mental study in recent school shooting cases.
23:08 Iris Wu It was my pleasure to be in this journey with you all. Now we can probably take a short break and aim for our next target!

23:12 christine I ‘m very happy that I finally finished the reading and able to join the discussion. Thanks Iris for leading us along the journey. It was a great discussion yesterday.
23:23 Iris Wu It wasn't easy. I remember you were still behind the schedule just a couple weeks ago, but you made it!!! Yeah, I love our final discussion. We were so excited and upset other Dante customers! :)
23:26 christine Indeed
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Luis Ko » 週一 10月 28, 2019 9:40 pm

according to the name of this book, it seems a great topic for yoyo meetings. 8)
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
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Re: 2019-3: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

文章Iris Wu » 週二 10月 29, 2019 11:14 pm

Luis Ko 寫:according to the name of this book, it seems a great topic for yoyo meetings. 8)


Luis might be thinking about "Justice"? Or how do people justify their "guilt"? How do we rationalize our bad/unethical behavior? And, to what extent, people just cannot "rationalize/find excuse" for their guilt anymore? How does conscious/conscience come in place?
If you are thinking along the lines of these questions, I am afraid we need a really good host to come up with some inspiring but not boring questions. It's kind of challenging! :(

I will be hosting a meeting on 12/24. I am thinking to talk about "Billion Dollar Whale", the book we are reading now. The background of the story is more contemporary and more interesting to YoYo members, I think.
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