ROBERT BOWIE – PEN NAME: U. R. BOWIE
Education: University of Florida, B.A., Political Science, History, 1962
Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA, 9-month intensive Russian, 1963-64
Tulane University, M.A., Russian, 1969
Vanderbilt University, Ph.D., Russian Language, Culture and Literature, 1971
Military service: U.S. Army, 1963-1966 (translator/interpreter, Russian)
Experience as Professor: Miami University, Oxford, OH, 1970-2000
Courses taught: (1) Russian language at all levels (2) Russian literature: two survey courses on Russian literature of the 19th and 20th centuries; course on Lev Tolstoy; course on Vladimir Nabokov (3) Russian folklore (4) The city of St. Petersburg: history, art, literature, architecture
In addition to teaching, duties at Miami University included administrative work as head of the Russian Section in the Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages
Novgorod State University, Russian Federation, 1999-2000 (Fulbright Scholar)
Courses taught: (1) Seminar on the writer Ivan Bunin (in Russian) (2) Literary translation, Russian to English and English to Russian (in Russian and English) (3) Course on reading American and British newspapers (in English).
During my one-year stay in the Russian Federation, I gave lectures on the writer Ivan Bunin (all in Russian) in the following cities: Smolensk, St. Petersburg, Yelets, Voronezh; in addition to my teaching duties at Novgorod University, I presented two lectures there for the general public on the writer Vladimir Nabokov
From 1989 to 1999 served on editorial board of The Journal of Modern Literature, in charge of submissions on Russian literature
Academic experience in Russia and The Soviet Union:
1972: Summer Exchange of Language Teachers, Moscow State University (ten weeks)
1974: Seminar on Russian for Foreign Teachers of Russian, Moscow State University (four weeks)
1983: Summer Exchange of Language Teachers, MSU (eight weeks)
1986, 1990: Winter tours, Moscow, Leningrad, Suzdal, Yaroslavl (ten days)
1988: Group Leader for four-week Miami University Study Tours, Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Novgorod
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1999: Group Leader for Miami University Study Tours
1999-2000: spent full academic year in Russia on Fulbright Scholar Teaching Grant
Selected Publications (books):
Looking Good, a novel (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2020)
Cogitations on the White Whale, and On Other Matters of Inimitable Purulence: A Palaver Novel in One Sentence (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2020). Also available as audiobook.
Sama Seeker in the Time of the End Times: Reminiscences of a Life in the Spook Trade, While in Search of Osama bin Laden, A Spy Novel in Two Volumes (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2019)
Such Is the Scent of Our Sweet Opalescence: Short Stories, also available as audiobook (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2018)
One Ton: The True and Heartrending Tale of a Fatboy’s Triumph (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2018)
Gogol’s Head: The Misadventures of a Purloined Skull (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2017)
Hard Mother: A Novel in Lectures and Dreams (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2016)
Googlegogol: Stories from the Database of Russian Literature, Inc. (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2016).
The Tale of the Bastard Feverfew, a novel (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2015).
Own: The Sad and Like-Wike Weepy Tale of Wittle Elkie Selph, also an audiobook (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2015).
Disambiguations: Three Novellas on Russian Themes (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2015).
Anyway, Anyways, a collection of short stories (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2014).
Translations from the Russian:
Ivan Bunin, Night of Denial, stories and novellas, translated, with extensive notes and a critical afterword, by R. Bowie (Northwestern University Press, 2006).
Andrei Moscovit, The Judgment Day Archives, a novel, translated by R. Bowie (Mercury Press, 1988).
Ivan Bunin, In a Far Distant Land, short stories, translated by R. Bowie (Hermitage Press, 1983).
Memoir and Nonfiction:
U.R. Bowie, Here We Be. Where Be We? In the Shitstorm Year of 2020: Musings, Ruminations, Bits and Pieces of Wisdom and Nonsense (Ogee Zakamora Publications, 2021).
R. Bowie, A Roast for Coach Dan Spear, a memoir that reads like a novel (Ogee Zakamora Publications,1997).
Selected Publications (articles on literary criticism):
“Dostoevshchina in the Life and Works of Ivan Bunin,” in the book, Bunin: Pro et Contra (ed. By V. Averin), St. Petersburg University, 2002 (article in Russian)
“Bend Sinister Annotations: Chapter Seven and Shakespeare,” The Nabokovian, No. 32 (Spring, 1994)
“Nabokov’s Influence on Gogol,” Journal of Modern Literature, 13 (July, 1986). This article, in slightly revised form, now also available on my blog, “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature.”
“Freedom and Art in A Clockwork Orange: Anthony Burgess and the Christian Premises of Dostoevsky,” Thought, A Review of Culture and Idea, Dec., 1981
“Bunin’s Sardonic Lyricism,” Russian Language Journal, No. 116 (Fall, 1979)
“Nabokov’s Nikolai Gogol” (in Russian), Vladimir Nabokov Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 14, 1998
“Russia in May, 1997: Business Small, Large and Opportunistic,” Eurasia Business Roundtable, Cincinnati, June 26, 1997
Series of Lectures at Cornell University, Apr., 1997: (1) On developing a university course in Russian folklore (2) On materials and teaching methods: how to build large enrollments in a folklore course (a seminar for graduate students) (3) On the history of the Romanov tsars, as manifested in the buildings and statues of St. Petersburg (slide lecture)
“The Russian Psyche as ‘A Stick with Two Ends’,” AATSEEL Conference (American Assoc. of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages), Washington, DC, Dec. 28, 1996
“Nabokov’s Treatment of His Characters: The Pose of the Arrogant Author,” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, Lexington, Apr. 22, 1994
“The Enigma of Russian Laughter,” AATSEEL Conference, New York City, Dec. 28, 1986
Book Review Articles and Articles on Literature Posted on Blog, “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature,” and in Dactyl Review, 2014-2020:
“A Personal and Critical Essay on Flannery O’Connor”
“The Great Boondoggle of the American Short Story.” On the poor quality of American short-story writing, as a result of the MFA’s overweening influence on writing and American literary journals’ habit of publishing egregious “domestic literary fiction.”
“On Literary Translation: Sympathy for the Traitor, A Translation Manifesto, by Mark Polizzotti”
Meg Wolitzer (ed.), The Best American Short Stories, 2017 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)
Penelope Fitzgerald, The Beginning of Spring (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015; orig. pub. in England in 1988)
Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler, translated from the Italian by William Weaver (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981)
Lauren Groff, Florida: Short Stories (NY: Riverhead Books, 2018)
Olga Tokarczuk, Flights, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft (NY: Riverhead Books, 2018)
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (Vintage Paperback, 1989; orig. pub. in 1915)
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried (Houghton-Mifflin, 1990)
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides (Warner Books, 1993).
Lee K. Abbott, All Things All at Once (Norton, 2006).
Michael Frayn, The Trick of It (Viking, 1989).
Vladimir Nabokov, Letters to Vera (Alfred A. Knopf), 2015.
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer (Grove Press, 2015).
Elif Batuman, The Idiot (Penguin, 2017).
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo (Random House, 2017).
George Saunders, Tenth of December (Random House, 2013).
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (Random House, 2011).
Tea Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife (Random House, 2011).
Cormac McCarthy, The Road. N.Y.: Random House, 2006.
David Bezmozgis, The Betrayers (Little, Brown and Company, 2014).
David Bezmozgis, The Free World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011).
Paul Fung. Dostoevsky and the Epileptic Mode of Being. London: Legenda (Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing), 2015. Illustrations. Bibliography. Index. xi + 148 pp. $99.00 (cloth).
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, translated by Marian Schwartz, edited and with an introduction by Gary Saul Morson. Yale University Press, 2014. Translator’s note and end notes, xxxii + 754 pp. $35 (cloth and eBook).
Maxim D. Shrayer. Leaving Russian: A Jewish Story. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2013. Illustrations, Index of Names and Places. xxii + 324pp. $29.95 (cloth).
Maksim D. Shraer ( Maxim Shrayer). Bunin i Nabokov: istorija sopernichestva [Bunin and Nabokov: The History of a Rivalry] (2-oe izdanie). Moskva: ANF, 2015. Index of names. 219 pp. Cloth. Available on Amazon and at www.biblio-globus.us.
Aleksandar Hemon, The Making of Zombie Wars, N.Y.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.
Aleksandar Hemon. Love and Obstacles (Short Stories). Penguin Group U.S.A., 2009.
Sarah Quigley. The Conductor (A Novel). London: Head of Zeus, 2012.
A direct link to my blog on Amazon about Russian Literature –
Book Reviews in Journals:
Alexander F. Zweers. The Narratology of the Autobiography: An Analysis of the Literary Devices Employed in Ivan Bunin’s “The Life of Arseniev.” In Canadian-American Slavic Studies (Vol. 66, 1999), 453-55.
Nekrylova. Russkie narodnye gorodskie prazdniki (Russian Folk Urban Festivals). In Slavic and East European Journal, No. 4, 1985, 496-97.
Igor Yefimov, Arkhivy strashnogo suda. A Novel. In Russian Language Journal, No. 128, 1983, 243-45.
James Woodward. Ivan Bunin. In The Russian Review, 40 (Nov., 1981), 225-27.
2016: Participant in Patch Adams Clown Tour, Moscow and St. Petersburg, entertaining children in hospitals and orphans’ homes
2005-2008: Set up consultancy, Russian Mindsets, Inc. Worked as consultant for U.S. businesses establishing business relations with Russian companies
Aug., 2006: Worked as consultant in a one-day cross-cultural seminar for a Russian family recently relocated to the U.S. Seminar held in Waukesha, WI, organized by Dean Foster Associates
Oct. 2000-Nov. 2005: Volunteer Russian interpreter at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and St. Francis Hospital for Women, Greenville, SC. Worked as private consultant for Americans seeking to adopt or arrange marriages in Russia and the former Soviet Union.
2001, 2003, 2005: Presented slide lectures on the Russian Orthodox Churches of St. Petersburg and the revival of Orthodoxy after the collapse of the Soviet Union: at Furman University, at a retirement community in North Carolina. Presented a slide lecture on the architecture of St. Petersburg at Bob Jones University.
Jan., 1997: Served as translator and intermediary for Russian and American businessmen at the Russian-American Symposium on Investment, Harvard University
Summer, 1987: Participated in NEH summer seminar for university instructors, “Cross-Cultural Seminar on Humor,” Univ. of California, Berkeley (six weeks)
Mar. 16-18, 1984: Participated in seminar/workshop on the Rassias Method of language instruction, Dartmouth College
Jan.-Apr., 1985: Participated in graduate seminar on ritual (Dept. of Religion, Miami Univ.), presented a talk in this seminar, “Ritual Laughter: Ancient Practice and Modern Vestiges”
Summer, 1981: Participated in NEH summer seminar for university instructors, “Folklore in American Literature,” Ohio State Univ. (eight weeks)
Volunteer driver for Road to Recovery (American Cancer Assoc.), Gainesville, FL: 2013-2014
Volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels, Travelers Rest, SC: 2010-2012
Soccer coach in youth league (6-8 years old) for ten years, Oxford, Ohio (1980-1990)
Detailed Summary of Activities (Non-Academic) in the Soviet Union, Russian Federation, and Countries Formerly a Part of the Soviet Union:
May, 1996: Coordinated seminars on mutual funds run by PaineWebber, St. Petersburg, Russia. Duties included organizing the seminars and recruiting Russians to attend from three different cities. Served as intermediary, facilitator and translator during the seminars and in ancillary meetings—at the International Banking Institute, with representatives of the city of Saratov, in phone conversations with the head of a Moscow investment firm.
June, 1993: Presented seminars on fund raising for local Red Cross workers, under the auspices of the International Red Cross, in Kiev, Ukraine, and Minsk, Belorussia. Organized the seminars and helped with logistics and translation, gave a two-hour presentation in Russian on corporate fund raising.
Summer, 1992: Worked as translator, freight courier and jack of all trades for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent in Central Asia. Duties included monitoring the visiting nurses program in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, transporting a copy machine from Moscow to Alma Ata, translating for meetings in Bishkek, Taldy Kurgan, and Samarkand (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan).
Spring, 1992: Distributed medicines donated by American hospitals to hospitals in three cities (Moscow, Kiev, St. Petersburg)
Articles Posted on JRL (Johnson’s Russia List, a daily compendium of all things Russian), 2008-2009 (some of these articles now posted on blog, “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature”):
“Russian Attitudes Toward Humor and Irony,” JRL-2009, #103, Item No. 37, June 3, 2009 (this article now also posted on my blog, “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature”)
“The Russian Game of Yell” (Russian Mindsets Series), JRL-2009, #62, Item No. 23, March, 2009.
“Face-Saving Fakery, Play-Acting and Make Believe in Russian History and Culture (Russian Mindsets Series),” JRL-2008, #135, Item No. 30, July 21, 2008 [Part One].
“Face-Saving Fakery, etc” JRL-2008, #138, Item No. 37, July 25, 2008 [Part Two].
“Face-Saving Fakery, etc.” JRL-2008, #139, Item No. 40, July 30, 2008 [Part Three].
“The Dancing Bear in the Grand Russian Round and Round (Russian Mindsets Series),” JRL-2008, #110 (this article is also posted on my blog, “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature”).
“The Onomastics of the Russian Leaders (In Honor of the New ‘Bear’ President),” JRL-2008, #88, May 5, 2008 (this article now also posted on my blog).
“It Is, After All, a Different Language,” JRL-2008, #58, Item No. 38, March 17, 2008.
“The Coming of the Sythians,” reply to Mark Medish, “Russia’s Road Rage,” JRL-2008, Item No. 21 (this article also now available on my blog, “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature.”