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).
Translations of Russian Poetry into English (Posted on Blog, “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature”)
“Vse raskhishcheno, predano, prodano” (“Everything’s plundered, betrayed, in ruin’s jaws”)
“My ne umeem proshchat’sja” (“We don’t know how to say goodbye”)
“A ty dumal ja tozhe takaja” (“So you took me for some kind of wifey lightweight”)
“Ja nauchilas’ prosto, mudro zhit’” (“Now I’ve learned simply and wisely to live”)
“Iul’ 1914” (“July, 1914”)
“Khor vershin” (“Choirs in the Heights”)
“Ja sladko iznemog ot tishiny i snov” (“So sweetly enervated I, by silence and by dreams”)
“Arbuz” (“The Watermelon”)
Translation of Shelly sonnet “Ozymandias” (“Ozimandija”)
“O doblestjakh, o podvigakh, o slave” (“While that chaste picture frame”)
“Noch’, Ulitsa, Fonar’, Apteka” (“Night. Street. Lamplight. Pharmacy”)
“Devushka pela v tserkovnom khore” (“In the choir of a church a young girl was singing”)
“Na rasput’e” (“Where Paths Diverge”)
“Skazka o koze” (“The Tale of the Goat”)
“L’et bez konsta. V lesu tuman” (“My Dear Lord God [“Endless rain, and forest fog”])
“Portret” (“The Portrait”)
“Les shumit nevnjatnym, rovnim shumom” (“An even, hazy hum runs through the glade”)
“Parus” (“The Sail”)
“Shestikrylyj” (“The Six-Winged Seraph”)
“Khudozhnik” (“The Artist”)
“Spokojnyj vzor, podobnyj vzoru lani” (“The tranquil gaze, your eyes so like a doe’s”)
“Val’s” (“The Waltz”)
“Nastanet den’, ischeznu ja” (“The day will come, I’ll disappear”)
“Kazhdyj sgniet (i gnienem ochistitsja)” (“Each of us rots, and through rotting is cleansed”)
“Zhil da byl Ivan Ivanych” (“There walked this earth one Clyde B. Wright”)
“Ne kazhetsja li tebe” (“Don’t you feel”)
“Serdtse sozhmetsja, ispugannyj ezhik” (“Our hearts will cower, frightened hedgehogs”)
“My teper’ ukhodim ponemnogu” (“One by one we all are now departing”)
“Ne vorchi, moj kot murlyka” (“Stop your purring, grumbler cat”)
“Eshe vesny dushistoj nega” (“In rapture steeped, sweet fragrant spring”)
“Burja na nebe vechernem” (“Storm in the sky of the gloaming”)
“Ja prishel k tebe s privetom” (“I come to you at break of day”)
“Kakaja kholodnaja osen’” (“How cold are the woods in the fall”)
“Byl chudnyj majskij den’ v Moskve” (“A wondrous Moscow day in May”)
“Shopot, robkoe dykhan’e” (“Whispering and Timid Breathing”)
“Tol’ko v mire i est’, chto tenistyj” (“Distinctive on earth of all things that exist”)
“Chuja vnushennyj drugimi otvet” (“Sensing that loved ones have told you, ‘Say no’ [Portents])”
“Ja i Vy” (“I and You”)
“Voin Agamemnona” (“Agamemnon’s Warrior”)
“S bezchelovechnoju sud’boj” (“In any polemic with inhuman fate”)
“Pered zerkalom” (“Standing in front of a mirror”)
“Vesennij lepet ne razlezhit” (“If verses’ teeth are tightly clenched”)
“Parus” (“The Sail”)
“Predskazanie” (“A Portent of Calamity”)
“Angel” (“The Angel”)
“Nebo i zvezdy” (“Sky and Stars”)
“Gornye vershiny” (“Alpine peaks quiescent”)
“Na strashnoj vysote bluzhdajushchij ogon’” (“Petropolis Dying”)
“Mne kholodno. Prozrachnaja vesna” (“I’m cold. The season of transparence”)
“V Petropole prozrachnom my umrem” (“In transparent Petropolis we all will die”)
Translation of Robert Burns, “Honest Poverty” (“Chestnaja bednost’”)
Translation of Shakespeare Sonnet No. 116, “To part the meld of two hearts intermingled” (“Meshat’ soedinen’ju dvukh serdets”)
Translation of Robert Burns, “Coming Through the Rye” (“Probirajas’ do kalitki”)
“Rossii” (“To Russia [The Overseas Ostrich]”)
“Khoroshee otnoshenie k loshadjam” (“Treating Horsies Nice”)
“Gefsimanskij sad” (“The Garden of Gethsemane”)
“V bol’nitse” (“In the Hospital”)
“Pora, moj drug, pora” (“Now is the time, my friend”)
“Otsy pustynnyki i zheny neporochny” (“The anchorites in deserts and the women pious, chaste”)
“Dar naprasnyj, dar sluchajnyj” (Based on pure chance, a useless gift”)
“Posle kazni v Zheneve” (“An Execution in Geneva”)
“Vysoka luna gospodnja” (“High in the sky is God’s moon”)
“Veter” (“The Wind”)
“Ballada o kamergere Delarju” (“The Ballad of Chamberlain Delarue”)
“Tropar’” (“Troparion from the Poem ‘John Damascene’”)
“Pesok sypuchij po koleni” (“Up to our axles in crumbly sand”)
“Ot zhizni toj chto bushevala zdes’” (“The life that once in these parts teemed”)
“Nakanune godovshchiny 4 avgusta 1864 g.” (“On the Eve of the Anniversary of Aug. 4, 1864”)
“Slyzy ljudskie, o slyzy ljudskie” (“O tears of humanity”)
“Vesennjaja Groza” (“Spring Thunderstorm”)
“Uzh skol’ko ikh upalo v etu bezdnu” (“So many have been swallowed up and perished”)
“Popytka revnosti” (“An Attempt at Jealousy”)
“Mne nravitsja, chto Vy bol’ny ne mnoj” (“I’m glad that you’re not indisposed with feelings steeped in me”)
“Svyataja Rus’” (“Holy Rus”)
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
Articles on Literature and on Russia Posted on Blog, “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature”
“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”
THE DANCING BEAR IN THE GRAND RUSSIAN ROUND AND ROUND
Russian Attitudes toward Humor and Irony: NIKOLAI GOGOL
The Onomastics of the Russian Leaders (The History of Surnames)
On the Russian “Narod” (Common Man) and On Playing Games of Make Believe
THE TATAR YOKE AND THE CHECHEN WARS
ON LITERARY TRANSLATION. Translating Substandard Speech (просторечие), IVAN BUNIN
MAX ERNST and The Transgressive Nature of Looking
Book Review Articles (Posted on blog “U.R. Bowie on Russian Literature” and on Dactyl Review Website)
Lee K. Abbott, ALL THINGS ALL AT ONCE
Julian Barnes, THE SENSE OF AN ENDING
Elif Batuman, THE IDIOT
David Bezmozgis, THE FREE WORLD
David Bezmozgis, THE BETRAYERS
Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler
J.M. Coetzee, THE MASTER OF PETERSBURG
Don DeLillo, LIBRA
Jeffrey Eugenides, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES
Penelope Fitzgerald, THE BEGINNING OF SPRING
Ford Madox Ford, THE GOOD SOLDIER
Michael Frayn, THE TRICK OF IT
Paul Fung, DOSTOEVSKY AND THE EPILEPTIC MODE OF BEING
Lauren Groff, FLORIDA
Aleksandar Hemon, THE MAKING OF ZOMBIE WARS
Aleksandar Hemon, LOVE AND OBSTACLES
Kazuo Ishiguro, A PALE VIEW OF HILLS
Cormac McCarthy, THE ROAD
Ian McEwan, NUTSHELL
Ian McEwan, ENDURING LOVE
Vladimir Nabokov, LETTERS TO VERA
Viet Thanh Nguyen, THE SYMPATHIZER
Edna O’Brien, NIGHT
Tim O’Brien, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED
Tea Obreht, THE TIGER’S WIFE
Sarah Quigley, THE CONDUCTOR
George Saunders, CIVILWARLAND in BAD DECLINE
George Saunders, TENTH OF DECEMBER
George Saunders, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO
Marian Schwartz Translation of ANNA KARENINA
W.G. Sebald, AUSTERLITZ
Maxim D. Shrayer, LEAVING RUSSIA: A JEWISH STORY
Maxim D. Shrayer, BUNIN AND NABOKOV
Olga Tokarczuk, FLIGHTS
Meg Wolitzer (editor), THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, 2017
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.”