Boris Johnson shows that he is a philistine

An expensive private education cannot make a cultured and sensitive human being out of a philistine.

This is Boris Johnson showing that he has not understood (maybe not even read) Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, as reported by RT:

Johnson said Russia’s complicity in the Salisbury incident was “rather like the beginning of ‘Crime and Punishment’ in the sense that we are all confident of the culprit, and the only question is whether he will confess or be caught.”

But the novel is not in fact a ‘whodunnit’ at all. We know who committed the crime because the first part of the book is all about the criminal planning his crime and then carrying out his plan. We are not ‘confident’ he did it. We know.

The novel is about the purging of his soul. Being Dostoevsky it also works at the level of a thriller. It’s not a game of cluedo.

Mr Johnson completely misreads and mis-represents the novel. He is yet again an unfortunate embarrassment for Britain.

(Interestingly, we can add, Mr Johnson unwittingly also gives away that Russia has not yet been caught. This means in fact that Russia has not yet been identified via evidence as having been responsible. Yet Mr Johnson has just led a campaign which is based precisely on the idea that Russia has already been ‘caught’. Oops. Narrative glitch. Never mind – the ‘free press’ isn’t going to question anything).

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer