DOSTOYEVSKY’S Crime and Punishment cannot be Russian as the country does not seem interested in either, scholars have agreed.
Following Russian authorities’ collective shrug at the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemstov, the novel is to be reclassified as European literature because that includes countries where concepts like justice are taken at least half-seriously.
Professor Helen Archer said: “Crime and Punishment is about a student who kills two old women and is pursued doggedly by a policeman and his own guilt until he confesses to the crime. Could there be anything less Russian?
“A more accurate version would see the student bribe the policeman, then the two plot further crimes over vodka before being recruited as hitmen for a gas oligarch. Hijinks ensue.”
Russia has responded by announcing that Tolstoy’s classic War and Peace is to be re-edited and titled War, War, More War and War Again.