(So, I went on vacation, and didn’t take this book, and then it was sort of nice not reading this book, so I stopped for a while. But I really want to finish it – or to have finished it, anyway – so I’m getting back into it. I have to admit the recaps I wrote here helped me pick up where I left off.)
So, in chapter 4, Raskolnikov is lying in bed the whole time while his friend Razumikhin and their mutual old acquaintance Zossimov, who is a fat doctor now, talk about the recent murders and the plight (so far) of the painter Mikolai Dementiev, who is a suspect. He found the earrings Raskolnikov dropped and is pretty sure everyone will think he did it so he tries to commit suicide but someone sees him and stops him and instead he gets all this police questioning with the suicide attempt making him seem even MORE guilty.
To everyone except Razumikhin, that is, who is telling this whole story and thinks Mikolai is innocent and has a theory which he recounts as Raskolnikov is listening, which is basically piecing together exactly what did happen. Raskolnikov says “A-a-ah” which seems like a fairly accurate assessment of the situation to me.
Through all of this Raskolnikov keeps yelling out things like “What? The earrings were dropped right there?” and other somewhat incriminating and creepy statements. But he’s so ill no one seems to think about it much. So far anyway.
Someone unfamiliar stands in the door (start of chapter 5). It’s Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin, the rich lawyer guy who is engaged to Raskolnikov’s sweet sister Dunya. After a lot of awkward silence and stilted beginnings, he has a long-winded chat with Zossimov (doctor friend) and Razumikhin (revolutionary nice young friend) in which he seems to advocate for young people having all the answers (even though he is not young at 45). Raskolnikov is mostly quiet but harsh and hostile toward Luzhin, and Luzhin seems to say that self-interest and capitalism are better for everyone than a Christian ethic of “loving your neighbor.” Luzhin also gives broad hints to the friends that he is engaged to Raskolnikov’s sister, and that the sister and mom are coming into Petersburg soon and he’s renting them a furnished apartment and getting a different apartment set up for after he and Dunya are married.
Talk turns back to the details of the murder and Razumikhin notes (again rightly as we the readers know) that whoever did this murder seems like a first-timer, and one of her clients, and like they only got away with it by dumb luck, because “he escaped disaster only by chance, and chance can do all sorts of things!” Raskolnikov gets angry. Razumikhin says of Luzhin’s bad economic ideas: “Get to the consequences of what you’ve just been preaching, and it will turn out that one can go around putting a knife in people.” which unsurprisingly offends Luzhin. This is compounded when Raskolnikov says that Luzhin only wanted to marry his poor sister so he could lord his financial superiority over her, and Luzhin gets mad and says his mother must have told him that, and Raskolnikov says basically “Don’t ever talk about my mom” and Luzhin leaves in a huff saying he will never forgive him.
Raskolnikov tells his friends to leave too. He’s energized and angry.
Attic bedroom image found here.