The Amazing Dostoevsky Machine
Ordinary readers of Dostoevsky frequently complain of headaches, confusion, and a sense of inadequacy. Given the complexity of the Russian naming system, holding onto the names of all the characters is a formidable task.
Russian names are composed of first name, patronymic (from the father's first name), and family name. Formal address requires the use of first name and patronymic; diminutives are commonly used among family and intimate friends; a shortened form of the patronymic (e.g., Romanych instead of Romanovich), used only in speech, also suggests a certain familiarity.
This can all become bloody complicated, in fact, only native Russians are clever enough to handle it. With the Amazing Dostoevsky machine, developed by Bonkworld's dedicated team of software engineers, this problem is solved: simply pick a catchy new name for each character in Crime and Punishment, hit the button, and away you go. The confoundingly similar Porfiry Petrovich and Pyotr Petrovich can be replaced by names like Bob Perkins and Tony. Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov's many nicknames can be condensed into the memorable "Timmy." It's a breeze.
Admittedly, all of the beautiful subtlety of Dostoevsky's half-mad gypsy scholar naming system is lost. (Raskolnikov means "to cleave asunder," after the Raskol'niki sect of Old Believers in the third quarter of 17th century Russia, which rebelled against the government and church. They were schismatics who saw the state and church as state as Anti-Christ and refused to acknowledge its laws. Many fled to Siberia, out of reach of the state.) But really, who gives a shite?
So, on to business. Please fill out a new name for the characters in
Crime and Punishment, and let the Amazing Dostoevsky machine do its magic!