What are the chances that while reading Crime and Punishment for the first time, I should stumble across Andrew Klaven’s The Great Good Thing and find out that the book changed his life? Since I am midway through both books, I’ve had to suspend Klaven’s book till I finish Dostoevsky for fear that he will give some important element of the plot away. This is no easy task. Klaven is quite riveting, especially in audio version, and Dostoevsky read through the screen of an English translation from Russian (and having an eerily dark tone) is much more work.
I now find myself suspended between two great worlds. I’m hanging out inside the mind of a murderer from pre-revolutionary Russia and inside the mind of a modern secular Jew-turned-Christian of about my own age. There is a kind of fearful clarity in Raskolnikov’s inner terror. To my own terror, I find that I know the horror of a conscience guilty of murder. At the same time, my soul knows by sweet experience the slow but inexorable transformation of faith as Klaven describes.
All this, when I should be finishing the mopping of my floors.
More to come.