Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crime & Punishment or, law school




I hadn't planned on blogging this evening.  I got home late and was doing good just to be sitting in front of my computer spooning my Trader Joe's Chana Masala into my mouth while surfing the net.  Cute husband is in finals so dinner together is, basically, out of the question.  Law students in finals are fascinating, someone has got to do a study.  They sit in one place for hours at a time in a state of complete and total concentration.  When they do finally get up--either to eat or go to the bathroom--they remain in a kind of airtight bubble out of which NOTHING can pull them.  I will simply say, "How's it going?  Feel like you're making progress?"  And I get this haunted stare, like, WHO ARE YOU, why have you entered my extremely private thought cave?  Furthermore, he is so in the swing of torturing himself so that he can do well, that any offers of kindness are rebuked as scathing critiques of his ascetic way of life.  "Need anything?" I say in my sing-song sweetest-wife-ever voice, as I do his dinner dishes.  He does not look up from his papers.  "All I truly need is to study."

Touche.

So I guess I decided to blog tonight because, well, I'm kind of lonely.

During my sad and pathetic dinner/web surf, I found this link and I had to share it.  Once again it was found via Blog of a Bookslut.  Apparently, there is, truly, now a video game of Dante's Inferno.  So someone by the name of Robert Brenner decided to write a what-if of a Crime & Punishment video game.

Highlights:

CHARACTER: You’re Raskolnikov, a student radical in St. Petersburg. Somebody’s stolen your birthright. Somebody’s gonna pay.

MISSION: Fight your way through a nightmarish philosophical struggle that anticipates the rise of Communism. Smash the capitalist class. Raise the consciousness of the lumpenproletariat. Redistribute the wealth—to yourself.

WEAPONS:  Marxist dialectics, Napoleonic complex, an axe. You can upgrade your axe to a chainsaw.

CHEAT CODE: Ctrl-P unlocks Sofia’s panties.

It cracks me up...

But it got me thinking about reading Crime & Punishment in Mrs. Jenkins' 12th grade English class.  (Lauren was by my side for this traumatic experience, hope she reads this so she can tell me if I'm remembering everything correctly.)  Mrs. Jenkins spent weeks telling us how much we were going to love Crime & Punishment--it was going to change our lives, make us better people, turn us into geniuses in just under 500 pages.  On the day the books arrived we were all chomping at the bit with our $5 cash, thinking, I've got to get my hands on this thing!

That night I sat in my bed struggling, fighting against the meager 30 pages she'd assigned us.  It was the first time in my whole life when I was truly just reading words; they meant nothing to me.  Night after night I kept forcing myself, promising myself I would get to the bitter end, I had to see the bright light I knew must be at the end of this tunnel.  But alas it was an oncoming train--of nothingness.  To this day, I hate that novel.  I have met many people who loved it.  I even married one of them.

A professor in college said that reading is just the reader trying to connect with the writer any way that he can--searching for any commonality that will put them both on the same ground so that he (the reader) can feel like he's in good hands, like he's listening to someone who knows something about him, and the two of them can move forward together.  Dostoevsky and I just weren't meant to be.  Mrs. Jenkins loved that novel so much.  She just couldn't get over its power.  I do that with books too--I push them on people, say, it's so amazing, it will change your life, you'll never forget it!  But in the end reading is just for two.  And what happens between reader and writer no one can ever really know.

But it wasn't all for naught.  Tonight when I ran across Crime & Punishment: the video game, it was nice to get the jokes.

4 comments:

  1. Painful, painful experience, Crime & Punishment. I'm not afraid to say it. I know we agree completely. Don't feel lonely, I always read your blog.

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  2. good~ keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice day........................................

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