By Carolly Erickson
Making the most of fabric unavailable until eventually the autumn of the Soviet Union, this biography of Alexandra, the final tsarina, explores: her formative years bereavement; her lengthy fight to realize her romantic objective of marriage to Nicholas; the affliction of her pathological shyness; the struggles along with her in-laws; a fake being pregnant; her expanding eccentricities as she turned extra preoccupied with issues of religion; and her starting to be dependence on a chain of occult mentors, the main infamous of whom used to be Rasputin.
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Extra resources for Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
He loathed everyone he met" (6: 87). This "irresistible sensation" in fact contains much of the answer he was seeking, though he was not yet conscious of what it signified. The entirely new moral-psychic situation in which Raskolnikov finds himself is then underlined by the visit to his only friend, the warmhearted, generous, ebullient Razumikhin, who was introduced earlier and obviously serves as a contrast to the introspective, gloomy, embittered Raskolnikov. Their social-economic circumstances were exactly the same; but Razumikhin "was straining every nerve to improve his circumstances in order to continue his studies" (6: 44).
Raskolnikov is thus shown, throughout these chapters, falling more and more into the grip of his monomania, and this means into the grip of his desire to prove to himself that he truly belongs to the "extraordinary" category. At the same time, he has no awareness of the deadly dialectic taking place in his personality, which requires him to muster a pitiless egoism in order to bring about a humanitarian and morally beneficent end. This lack of awareness is of course essential for Dostoevsky's artistic strategy, and it is emphasized by the manner in which Raskolnikov's inner struggle is finally resolved.
What emerges instead is the rampant egoism justified by such logic, and now fully released in his monomania. As the two men who had come to visit Alyona Ivanovna rattle at the locked door behind which Raskolnikov stands, axe in hand, "he was in a sort of delirium. He was even making ready to fight when they should come in.... " (6: 68). This moment behind the door, when Raskolnikov's egoism reaches a self-destructive pitch of hatred for and defiance of everyone, will be used again as a flashback, and becomes a leitmotif.
Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson