Since reading Crime and Punishment I have developed an interest in Russian literature, especially Dostoevsky's. I have noticed that many Russian authors are extremely philosophical, two that stand out to me are Vladimir Nabokov and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Both of these men have a unique ability to decipher the human psyche and illustrate both inter and intra personal interactions.
In the case of Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment is not only his masterpiece, it is a peak into what is going on in his life at the time. Raskolnikov's attitude of superiority and lack of spiritual morals bears great resemblance to early Dostoevsky and his participation in a radical political group by the name of the Petrashevsky Circle.
Raskolnikov's shattering realization that he is not one of the elite in society that he theorized about is similar to Dostoevsky's disillusion with his group upon his arrest. The personal torment that Raskolnikov endures after murdering his landlady and her younger sister can be compared to Dostoevsky's imprisonment as well.
Rodia meeting Sasha and slowly being converted to Christianity reflects Dostoevsky's conversion to Christianity in prison through his study of the New Testament. His sentence to hard labor in Siberia is pretty literally interpreted as Dostoevsky's same sentence. However, the enlightenment that Rodia experiences through that is similar to Dostoevsky's change of heart and new conservative mentality.
I did not realize it until I studied Dostoevsky as an individual but Crime and Punishment is literally a synopsis of his reform through prison. The emotions that Rodia feels and the suffering that he endures seem so realistic and detailed because Dostoevsky actually experienced similar thoughts, tribulations and enlightening experiences.
Box.net link: http://www.box.net/shared/n5b642qmcv and http://www.box.net/shared/1nzj9uvrqs