with author Theodore Weesner
Q…What pleases you about the way your essay turned out? Are there ways in which it fell short of your original goals?
Weesner…“Hoop Sex” pleases me in its objectifying of the presence of sexuality in what would pass for an ordinary game. More intimacy and interaction exist between spectators and players in basketball, “Hoop Sex” says, than in other major sports. I’m sorry, too, that I wasn’t able to work in a metaphor showing hoop under the lights on summer nights to be comparable to topless bars and (though never having paid an outright visit) their similar highlightings of human forms.
Q…How did your essay develop, both in your mind thinking about it and in the revision process? What happened in the writing that you didn’t expect would happen?
Weesner… “Hoop Sex” grew out of extensive personal involvement in city park, summertime basketball, and a later realization of a more implicit sexuality existing between players and spectators than in sports with head-to-toe uniforms. The essay snapped into place in my mind on recognition of the similarities of basketball in general to other scantily-clad, if more intimate performances, be the players and/or performers male and/or female and the actions quite wholesome or quite provocative. I believe the essay fulfills the writer’s challenge of bringing order and interpretation to the chaos of general experience, should the experience occur in city parks or anywhere else.
Q…How does your experience writing creative nonfiction depend upon or depart from your work in other genres (poetry, fiction, playwriting, literary criticism, etc.)?
Weesner…Creative Nonfiction as a genre attracts me in its call to digging deeply for essential truths and realities within one’s own experience. To me, the ‘creative’ option means that I may recreate and dramatize essential truths, making them more clear and accessible, rather than feeling limited to the general courtroom, camera, reporting restrictions of traditional nonfiction.
Q…Speculate about creative nonfiction as an emerging genre in American literature. Where do you see it going?
Weesner…Creative nonfiction, as a genre, would appear, today, to be as inevitable as motion pictures at the time of the introduction of sound. Works of creative nonfiction would appear, that is, to be the talkies of the 21st Century.
Q…What advice do you offer new writers?
Weesner…My advice to new writers is that they understand and embrace genuineness. Genuineness (believing in what you see, believing in yourself, writing clearly) is everything in art (and life) and digging deeper and deeper (an deeper) is more than everything, is the pith wherein meaning and all answers lie.