Babble Book Club: People Park by Pasha Malla

72 posts / 0 new
Last post
Pasha Malla

Left Turn wrote:

I noticed some parallels between stuff in the book and stuff that's happened in Vancouver. The 2010 Olympics comes to mind. That there was a lot of hoopla around it, a lot of tourists came and it was this big deal for the government; but at the same time it was facilitating gentrification particularly in the DTES. Also the destruction of public housing aspect seems analagous to the fight over the fate of the Little Mountain Housing project, among other things.

That's cool. I've not spent much time in Vancouver but I'm glad the novel feels like it resonates to experiences beyond my own.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Well, as I mentioned before, I could read about all the dissections of this book, but I wouldn't ask you to do that!

Like Catchfire, I am interested in some ending explanation as well, and some Raven explanation. The feeling I had when it ended was, "this seems like a great ended, but I'm not completely sure why I like it"

I think I liked that I was predicted for either Raven to snap his fingers and solve it all OR that the people would wake up from some communal dream as part of the illustration, but the the craziest absurdity happened instead. And it was great, however, what happened...

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Oh and just under 10 minutes left as well!

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

[I think I fell very much like Catchfire as the moment and just want to yell things and get answers. "Who is familiar?! The Mayor's legs?! Is Gip meant to follow and solve?!" etc.]

Pasha Malla

Kaitlin McNabb wrote:

Like Catchfire, I am interested in some ending explanation as well, and some Raven explanation. The feeling I had when it ended was, "this seems like a great ended, but I'm not completely sure why I like it"

Explanation how?

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

What was happening?

There were people spewing out everywhere. Were they the people who drown in the flood? What was it?

Pasha Malla

I should just say, generally, I was more interested in chaotic logic in this book, where things don't necessarily add up precisely, that -- as in life, I think -- there are loose ends and inconsistencies, that there's an imprecision and purposeful vagueness and a number of possiblities as to "what happened" and "what it means." Do you guys like David Lynch? I like David Lynch.

Pasha Malla

Also the epigraphs at the start of each chapter are pretty good clues, both referentially and explicitly, as to what happens in the book.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

All right, the official one hour conversation time is up! Many thanks to Pasha Malla for doing a one hour crash conversation on his book People Park

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

I'm sure I speak for lots of people when I feel I could have sat in this conversation for awhile and just listen to explanations and discuss aspects of the book. Much enjoyed and very much appreciated for the explanations that were able to be given.

Also, I am super jealous of people who have a personal, one page annotated version of the book. I really want the secrets.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Pasha Malla wrote:

I should just say, generally, I was more interested in chaotic logic in this book, where things don't necessarily add up precisely, that -- as in life, I think -- there are loose ends and inconsistencies, that there's an imprecision and purposeful vagueness and a number of possiblities as to "what happened" and "what it means." Do you guys like David Lynch? I like David Lynch.

Kyle Maclachlan plays Olpert.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

Thanks again to everyone who came out for the chat and asked questions or just viewed the thread.

Also, as other continue to read through, this thread is always open to those who want to continue to discuss the book!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Kaitlin McNabb wrote:

Pasha Malla wrote:

Do you guys like David Lynch? I like David Lynch.

Kyle Maclachlan plays Olpert.


Yes! Although perhaps Kellogg would be a better casting?

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

he plays both!

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

I have continued to think A LOT about this book and Pasha Malla's writing in general and found the thoughts spilling over into this whole Globe and Mail abandoning their books section thing.

Whether you liked the book People Park or not, I think we can all agree that despite some slips, Malla's writing represents a new shift in Canada Literature, along with a lot of new shifts in Canadian Literature, as the genre seems to be redefining itself by producing and exposing writers. While People Park may not be the best representation of a  "contemporary, exploratory, magical realism" genre, it shows a burgeoning genre in the Canadian mainstream.

How this fits into my thoughts on G&M is that it is interesting that they are redefining or reimiaging (or whatever they are calling this move) the books sections to something lesser than that has arguably been subpar for quite sometime, when CanLit and Canadian authors are really starting to hit their stride and Canadian literature is gaining momentum within Canada and beyond. 

There is another article that I cannot find now that critiques, well the current state of literary criticism in Canada as again pretty crappy.

Canadian readers seem to be more interested in reading Canadian writers and I hope that the media and culture of books, writing, and critique will follow, or with giant subpar media falling by the wayside in favour of other 'news', independent outlets and literary journals will gain more followers!

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

AND if anyone wants to talk about the ending and what the hell happened, I'm game.

I think Malla's writing absurdity to be absurd is hilarious, but ultimately confusing. I heard the most powerful thing a person studying/teaching/reading literature can do is say they don't always understand.

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

(I really want an annotated version of this novel.)

Unionist

I could use an annotated version of this thread.

Caissa

read the book Unionist.

Unionist

I'm not sure I want to enter a debate as to whether the nameless city is nameless or not. I'm going to read Cool Water first and then maybe work up the nerve to enter that discussion.

One of my main problems with fiction is that so much of real life feels like fiction to me. I like to escape into nonfiction from time to time.

 

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

haha Unionist.

The People Park debate extends beyond the nameless city debate and the nameless city debate brings up more than just name and place.

I think the annotated version of the thread would have one endnote that reads "yes. this book was an experiment in prose style, absurdity, and imaginary and is higly influenced by current evets, David Lynch, and experience in reading. Not all points are to be 'gotten'"

The thread probably doesn't make sense without reading the book because it was a lot more focused on the story unlike our other discussions, but I think it provides an interesting basis to read the book.

 

Pages