Malcolm MacNaughtan Bowie 1943-2007

In Hobson Marian (ed.), Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 161, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VIII. pp. 41 (2009)
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Malcolm MacNaughtan Bowie, a Fellow of the British Academy, was appointed from an assistant lectureship at the University of East Anglia to one in the University of Cambridge in 1969. At Cambridge, he worked as a specialist in difficult poets in French beginning with ‘M’, particularly Henri Michaux and Stephane Mallarmé. These are writers of involuted complexity, to read whom both a sensitivity to how word play plays and to how French prosody in poetry or prose works were essential. These studies by Bowie were followed by work on mind-altering psychoanalysis: on Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. He was the first director of the Romance Languages Institute, ran its vigorous seminar programme, and gave this a strong international profile by his invitations. At the University of Oxford, Bowie set up the European Humanities Research Centre, followed by an associated publishing venture, Legenda.



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