Dostoyevsky and the current ‘true-crime’ craze 

May 31, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: books, journalism, writers.

Interest in true-crime and the justice system is not a new thing. It dates back to Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who was a victim of the judiciary system of his time.

That’s the view of Jennifer Wilson, who has an interesting article in the New York Times:

Dostoyevsky was obsessed with the judiciary. He spent considerable time watching trials, debating with lawyers about the nature of innocence and guilt, visiting the accused in prison and trying to sway public opinion about certain cases. So enmeshed were Dostoyevsky and his writing in the legal consciousness of czarist Russia that defense attorneys were known to invoke Rodion Raskolnikov, the charismatic murderer-protagonist of “Crime and Punishment,” when seeking sympathy from the jury. Source: Opinion | How Dostoyevsky Predicted the ‘True Crime’ Craze – The New York Times

Dostoyevsky was actually sentenced to death in 1849 because of an intellectual society to which he belonged. He escaped execution at the last minute.

That experience got his attention, and that attention never waivered, particularly in the classic novels he produced.

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