Travelogue - Iowa City / by Nathan Carterette

Iowa City is like a fantasy theme park for literati. I have never seen one place where so many people who are dedicated to literature obscure and classic are gathered together. Every restaurant, coffee shop, bar we went to was full of people all seemingly versed in the same stuff. It's a fantasy world where everyone has read the latest Iowa review, the poems of Denis Johnson, the journals of David Foster Wallace, and most treacherously each other's writing; on top of that they are ready to discuss it down to the last paragraph, even if it is 2 am at the Foxhunt.

I tried to point this out to my hosts: nobody comes up to me in public to rave about the latest Golijov, or published letters of Ligeti, or whatever. I guess I wish they did. But they just smiled and patted my hand. It's just the way it is for them!