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To Skip: Everything After the First Capital Letter
In juicy, monster Russian novels, like Crime and Punishment, people have a lot of names. They have a full name, a pet name and a family name—such as the hero of the aforementioned novel, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, aka Rodya, aka Rodka; or his love interest, Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov, aka Sonya, aka Sonechka. You can spend a lot of time trying to pronounce these names. You can make lists of how many names everybody has, and you might just make some family tree that sorts out who is who in each scene. But is this really the best use of your time? Maybe it's okay to just call the protagonist the R-guy (to borrow a trick from the spare German-language writer Kafka) and call it a day. The R-guy's murder of the pawnbroker and subsequent self-torment is worth all your attention.
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