Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thomas Pletzinger

From a Q & A with Thomas Pletzinger, author of Funeral for a Dog:

Q: For a time you were a semi-pro basketball player in Europe. Did this experience influence your writing?

This experience is something I think about a lot. I had always wanted to become a professional basketball player, and almost did make it. I do not know if a certain ambition or competitiveness or the desire to achieve or complete something is related to having been a basketball player or a sports person in general. Maybe it is, but maybe these things were there before I even started playing basketball. Certainly elements like discipline, ritual and monotony as well as play and creativity - aspects that shape the basketball player's life day in and day out - made a reappearance in my writerly life. Especially training and ritual and the abilities that come from them. And the physical and sensual aspects of sports are important to me as a writer as well. I still love to run and lift weights. I ran a couple marathons. And I still love basketball, even though I failed at it as a player. Right now, I am even working on a non-fiction book about basketball that picks up where I left the game fifteen years ago.

Q: Funeral for a Dog takes readers to several different locations around the world. You yourself have lived many places. How much of yourself, and your love of travel, made its way into the book?

I have discovered that the places are the most autobiographical part of the book. The story is invented, but the places aren't. I grew up in Germany, but I have been to Finland and Brazil for longer stretches of time. I go to Lago di Lugano on the border between Italy and Switzerland every year. And I have lived in New York. I have been to Coney Island many times. I have seen cockfights in Brazil. I love to travel and spend time away from home. In fact, I did not really know what home meant until fairly recently. For me, home was always where the good people are. And my good people are spread all over Germany, all over the world even, so I have to travel to see them, so I came to like traveling a lot. My favorite thing for a while was...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue