Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Bobok and Philip K. Dick’s Ubik: The Mystique of Otherness





F. M. Dostoevsky, P. K. Dick, problems of minor eschatology, Bobok, Ubik, E. Swedenborg, The Tibetan Book of the Dead


This article presents a comparative analysis of non-traditional images of otherness described by F. M. Dostoevsky in his short story Bobok (1873) and P. K. Dick in the novel Ubik (1969). With an interval of a century, the two works, Russian and American, describe the state of so-called “half-life” granted to people after their death before the final transition of the soul to the transcendent world. This state lasts from six months to two years, an artistic fiction where the writers demonstrate that their characters have lost their national eschatological traditions and their souls are filled with a moral vacuum as a result of the lost opportunity to correct their lives through “mortal memory”. Thus, their lives may be called “lives by inertia”. The article describes the theosophical influence of Heaven and Hell, a mystical work by E. Swedenborg, and The Tibetan Book of the Dead on the thanatological concepts of the works.

Author Biography

Irina Dergacheva

Dr. Hab. (Philology), Head of the Department of Linguistics, Moscow State Institute of Culture.

7, Bibliotechnaya Str., 141406, Khimki, Moscow Region, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0002-4878-2027



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How to Cite

Dergacheva, I. (2021). Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Bobok and Philip K. Dick’s Ubik: The Mystique of Otherness. Quaestio Rossica, 9(2), 515–532. https://doi.org/10.15826/qr.2021.2.593



Problema voluminis