“Among novelists, the greatest are Victor Hugo and Dostoevsky,” Ayn Rand claims in “What Is Romanticism?” In another essay, “Art and Sense of Life,” she explains that she likes Dostoevsky “for his superb mastery of plot structure and for his merciless dissection of the psychology of evil . . .” One can appreciate his merciless dissection in his first great novel, Crime and Punishment.
A new Ayn Rand University course, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment: Investigating the Mind of a Murderer, offers a deep analysis of this extraordinary novel and its main character, Rodion Raskolnikov.
The course will be taught by Dr. Shoshana Milgram, an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech. “Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov’s motivations are stated repeatedly, yet they remain mysterious. In order to uncover the reasons for his actions, we need to attend not only to what Raskolnikov tells us, but also to what Dostoevsky shows us,” says Milgram. For a flavor of what to expect, see her lecture on Dostoevsky at Objectivist Summer Conference 2021.
Participants in the course will learn not only how to understand and analyze Crime and Punishment, but also how to appreciate Dostoevsky’s craft and literary genius. Moreover, throughout the course they will discuss parallels and contrasts between Rand and Dostoevsky.
The course starts in early April 2023, and you can sign up as a graded student or an auditor here.