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ENGL 222 Beggar's Garden Notes Mar 8

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University of British Columbia
ENGL 222
Duffy Roberts

March 8, 2013 ENGL 222 – Canadian Literature The Beggar’s Garden  P. 230 o Bearing signs of absence  Where in Vancouver do we feel bears signs of absence o Secret places and why we keep them secret and what they have to do with the way cities function  How do they affect the experience of cities o Fraud department: fraudulent vs. authentic  Vancouver’s advertisements as fraud  P. 231, 232: Bank transactions o Formula through which each transaction  Is there a formula for Vancouver? o Idea of computer mediated interaction with place  The computer now finds the fraudster; used to be more like “detective work”, more visceral o Sam enjoys “the puzzle of [fraud]  Mode of inquiry  If we treat cities like puzzles – must be solved  Cannot make assumptions with puzzles  P. 233: Sam breaks down in the alleyway o Overly intimate (to talk to someone relieving himself)  Is there a problem with being overly intimate with a place?  P. 234 o Idea of being besieged: war, idea of class war (social class) – Sam is a banker, Isaac is a beggar o Commuter space – a route to go through but not stop o West coast had been Anna’s place to escape  What happens when you turn a place into an escape?  What happens when you think of Vancouver as an escape? Another mode of inquiry of this place?  How do we escape in Vancouver? o “At first, the city had been thrilling” o Vancouver as “golden fringe” o Obscene beauty? o “glimmering city of glass” – Douglas Copeland - buildings and high rises  P. 235 o Doomed neighbourhood? o The city as body? Producing the zit of downtown eastside? o “A living monument to all unwanted things… and some part of Sam hoped it would live forever” o Packed metaphors  Body  Warzone under siege  Escape  What are the implications of place in that description?  P. 236 o Sam and Isaac’s relationship begins in an inversion of the conventional relationship between the banker and the beggar  Sam is rough around the edges, Sam needs help; not Isaac o Story of person who freezes to death on container ship inspires Sam to start living his life differently, shifts focus to Isaac, reclaiming him somehow, helping him out  Revisits the veracity of the story  Belief systems – not about veracity but about what they motivate us to do  Focus on behaviours, not validity of what inspires behaviours o But if you change the story, you can
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