The remarkable number of notable writers who have studied or taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop includes Flannery O’Connor, Robert Lowell, Dylan Thomas, Rita Dove, Sandra Cisneros, Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving and Marilynne Robinson. In “A Delicate Aggression,” David O. Dowling, an associate professor at Iowa’s journalism school, tells the “cultural and industrial history” of the workshop through a series of biographical portraits. He captures writers “in their formative years taking their first tentative steps toward professional careers, forming alliances and rivalries among intimidating world-renowned faculty and high-powered peers.” He writes about the program’s blend of mentoring and marketing, its rigor and its wiles. Below, he discusses the workshop’s founder, Irving defending Vonnegut’s honor in a fight, how Ralph Waldo Emerson helped to inspire this book and more.
When did you first get the idea to write this book?
I had written a book called “Emerson’s Protégés,” published in 2014. It was about how the promotion of young literary talent took place in Concord, Mass., and how the growth of creative writing happened within this enclave, this literary circle. Then I thought: How does that promotion move into the 20th and 21st centuries? I wanted to follow how the growth of young talent becomes institutionalized.
I didn’t have to look too far. Doing some preliminary research, I strolled into Prairie Lights bookshop and asked the bookseller Paul Ingram what they had in the way of histories of the workshop. He took me over to a big shelf of books, and said: “Everything here is either a memoir or retrospective collection of commemorative pieces. These are all inside jobs.” There wasn’t one book there by someone who wasn’t an alumnus or a former faculty member. “So,” Paul looked at me, “someone’s got to write this book.”
What’s the most surprising thing you learned while writing it?
Too many to tell you. One was the business savvy of many of the authors — their ability to move themselves into favorable positions in the marketplace. For example, Flannery O’Connor advocated for herself in a way that demonstrated her business acumen by essentially pulling out of a deal that she had originally arranged with a publisher — standing up for herself and having the wherewithal to know when she was working with an editor who was blind to her talents.
Kurt Vonnegut hosted wild parties at his house. And John Irving got into a barroom brawl with someone who insulted Vonnegut, his adviser, by calling him a “science fiction hack.”
Who is a creative person (not a writer) who has influenced you and your work?
I’ll go back to the foundation of a lot of my thinking, research and writing, which is the Hudson River School of painters; specifically, Asher B. Durand and his painting “Kindred Spirits.” It depicts Thomas Cole and William Cullen Bryant standing on a rock discussing something. What that signifies to me — that moment and the Hudson School as a whole — is a collection, a constellation of creative artists. The link to Emerson and the Transcendentalists is there, of course. There’s a reciprocal enrichment. Indeed, one of Emerson’s protégés was a painter, Christopher Cranch, who made the “transparent eyeball” illustration of Emerson as an eye on long legs walking through nature. That’s where I go for my source of inspiration: that very fertile ground for creativity that happens in circles.
Persuade someone to read “A Delicate Aggression” in 50 words or less.
It brings you inside the mechanism of fame that has produced America’s most important writers since World War II. It tells of their struggles and triumphs, the lasting impression the Iowa Writers’ Workshop forever left on them, and the influence they had on the world’s most powerful creative writing program.
This interview has been condensed and edited.B:
神算子王中王八码公开【玉】【简】【堆】【得】【到】【处】【都】【是】，【不】【过】【罗】【琦】【看】【起】【来】【非】【常】【熟】【悉】【每】【一】【根】【玉】【简】【的】【放】【置】【处】，【她】【总】【能】【从】【一】【堆】【堆】“【小】【山】”【里】【快】【速】【准】【确】【地】【找】【出】【自】【己】【想】【要】【的】【玉】【简】，【收】【集】【好】【同】【类】【玉】【简】【并】【放】【入】【箱】【子】【后】，【再】【不】【会】【将】【箱】【子】【打】【开】。【就】【连】【箱】【子】【的】【大】【小】，【也】【是】【恰】【好】【合】【适】。 【镜】【映】【容】【视】【线】【落】【在】【桌】【上】【乱】【七】【八】【糟】【的】【纸】【页】【上】。 【她】【问】【罗】【琦】：“【这】【些】，【我】【可】【以】【看】【吗】？” 【罗】【琦】
【顾】【衍】【难】【得】【没】【有】【吃】【味】，【揉】【了】【揉】【她】【的】【头】【发】，【宠】【溺】【地】【说】【道】：“【你】【也】【很】【厉】【害】。” 【据】【他】【所】【知】，【陆】【菀】【之】【在】【她】【那】【个】【专】【业】【一】【直】【是】【佼】【佼】【者】，【她】【志】【向】【远】【大】，【未】【来】【还】【想】【为】【医】【学】【事】【业】【做】【出】【贡】【献】。【所】【以】，【顾】【衍】【在】【建】【那】【座】【庄】【园】【时】，【特】【意】【为】【她】【修】【了】【一】【个】【实】【验】【室】。 【陆】【菀】【之】【眉】【眼】【一】【弯】，【笑】【道】：“【二】【哥】，【我】【发】【现】【你】【现】【在】【嘴】【巴】【越】【来】【越】【甜】【了】【嘛】！” 【顾】【衍】【身】
【一】【脸】【茫】【然】【的】【青】【年】，【出】【现】【了】【在】【一】【个】【陌】【生】【世】【界】。 【他】【衣】【着】【整】【齐】，【坐】【在】【遗】【弃】【的】【狭】【窄】【灰】【白】【色】【石】【洞】【里】，【白】【色】【的】【衬】【衫】【像】【是】【某】【种】【统】【一】【格】【式】【的】【制】【服】，【浅】【白】【在】【洞】【口】【散】【射】【的】【光】【里】，【透】【出】【肩】【头】【皮】【肤】【的】【颜】【色】，【柔】【软】【的】【浅】【褐】【色】【发】【丝】【从】【耳】【边】【泻】【下】【搭】【在】【肩】【头】，【似】【乎】【定】【格】【了】【画】【面】。 【面】【庞】【清】【秀】【的】【青】【年】，【眼】【中】【映】【出】【这】【个】【向】【他】【敞】【开】【怀】【抱】【的】【新】【世】【界】，【接】【着】，【蹦】【出】
【洪】【湾】【立】【马】【点】【了】【点】【头】，【顿】【时】【有】【点】【儿】【六】【神】【无】【主】，【他】【这】【还】【想】【跟】【着】【老】【粽】【子】【干】【一】【番】【事】【业】【呢】，【怎】【么】【壮】【士】【未】【酬】【身】【先】【死】【啊】！ “【要】【不】【抢】【救】【抢】【救】？”【洪】【湾】【把】【全】【部】【希】【望】【都】【放】【到】【了】【鎏】【金】【身】【上】。 “【哼】！”【鎏】【金】【却】【冷】【哼】【一】【声】，【转】【身】【就】【要】【走】，“【死】【了】【不】【是】【更】【好】，【这】【一】【身】【粘】【腻】，【真】【是】【恶】【心】【死】【我】【了】……” “【祖】【宗】，【您】【别】【走】【啊】！【真】【的】【不】【抢】【救】【一】【下】？”
“【诸】【位】…”【颛】【孙】【楚】【站】【起】【身】，【亲】【自】【搀】【扶】【起】【安】【郡】【王】【等】【四】【人】，【而】【后】【道】：“【秋】【猎】**【了】【如】【此】【纰】【漏】，【朕】【自】【是】【有】【莫】【大】【的】【责】【任】，【几】【位】【大】【人】【的】【女】【眷】【在】【这】【皇】【家】【园】【林】**【事】，【朕】【也】【是】【痛】【心】，【请】【诸】【位】【大】【人】【静】【候】【些】【时】【日】，【朕】【一】【定】【给】【各】【位】【一】【个】【满】【意】【的】【答】【复】。” 【安】【郡】【王】【等】【人】【互】【相】【看】【了】【几】【眼】，【不】【知】【道】【都】【在】【想】【些】【什】【么】。 【左】【相】【探】【究】【的】【望】【了】【一】【眼】【右】【相】，【见】神算子王中王八码公开【评】【测】【场】【上】【的】【所】【有】【人】【都】【定】【在】【了】【原】【地】，【一】【动】【不】【动】，【甚】【至】【心】【脏】【也】【停】【止】【了】【跳】【动】，【如】【同】【大】【师】【手】【里】【的】【雕】【像】，【被】【人】【雕】【刻】【的】**【如】【生】。 【他】【们】【的】【脸】【上】【或】【惊】【讶】，【或】【是】【惊】【奇】，【或】【是】【平】【静】，【或】【是】【惊】【喜】，【只】【有】【女】【帝】【的】【脸】【上】【充】【满】【了】【不】【安】，【还】【有】【警】【惕】。 【当】【看】【见】【黑】【色】【火】【焰】【腾】【空】【的】【刹】【那】，【女】【帝】【的】【心】【头】【便】【感】【觉】【到】【了】【一】【股】【异】【样】，【不】，【应】【该】【说】【是】【心】【悸】。【那】【种】【感】
【第】【四】【百】【二】【十】【五】【章】 【奥】【日】【慢】【慢】【的】【睁】【开】【眼】【睛】，【看】【着】【外】【面】。 【深】【夜】，【红】【色】【的】【月】【亮】【在】【天】【上】【悬】【挂】。【只】【要】【有】【那】【个】【在】，【这】【个】【黑】【夜】【中】【的】【黑】【暗】【元】【素】【就】【会】【有】【着】【难】【以】【想】【象】【的】【质】【量】。 【不】【过】【就】【算】【如】【此】，【他】【的】【弟】【弟】【也】【没】【能】【占】【到】【上】【风】，【就】【在】【几】【分】【钟】【前】，【他】【再】【一】【次】【被】【毁】【掉】【了】【全】【身】【的】【骨】【头】。 【奥】【日】【刚】【刚】【平】【静】【下】【来】，【看】【着】【自】【己】【弟】【弟】【被】【伤】【成】【这】【样】，【自】【己】【却】
【妞】【妞】【一】【脸】【和】【善】【的】【微】【笑】，【哪】【还】【有】【之】【前】【残】【暴】【的】【样】【子】？ 【黑】【虎】【魔】【神】【剩】【下】【的】【六】【名】【手】【下】【都】【脸】【色】【苍】【白】，【他】【们】【和】【虎】【一】【不】【同】，【并】【非】【完】【全】【的】【大】【无】【畏】，【换】【句】【话】【说】，【他】【们】【没】【那】【么】【傻】！ 【黑】【虎】【魔】【神】【神】【色】【淡】【然】，【轻】【笑】【道】：“【本】【神】【的】【手】【下】，【当】【然】【都】【是】【本】【神】【最】【珍】【视】【的】【人】，【他】【们】【对】【本】【神】【忠】【心】，【如】【果】【本】【神】【视】【他】【们】【为】【草】【芥】，【那】【他】【们】【以】【后】【还】【怎】【么】【忠】【心】【于】【我】？【本】【神】【不】【出】
【许】【久】【之】【后】，【容】【隐】【才】【放】【开】【傅】【琛】，【结】【束】【这】【个】【长】【达】【三】【分】【钟】【的】【吻】，【她】【喘】【着】【粗】【气】，【冷】【淡】【的】【脸】【十】【多】【了】【几】【分】【薄】【红】，【微】【肿】【是】【唇】【昭】【示】【着】【刚】【刚】【这】【个】【男】【人】【究】【竟】【有】【多】【用】【力】。 【傅】【琛】【迷】【离】【这】【双】【眼】，【盯】【着】【容】【隐】，【身】【下】【正】【在】【蓄】【势】【待】【发】【的】【某】【物】【似】【乎】【在】【控】【诉】【着】【某】【人】【的】【无】【情】，【不】【过】【容】【隐】【好】【像】【装】【作】【没】【有】【看】【到】【的】【样】【子】，【别】【过】【头】，【逃】【避】【着】【傅】【琛】【的】【眼】【睛】。 “【打】【个】【印】【记】