Private: Introducing Pasha Malla

Pasha Malla is the sort of writer to whom the proprietors of seminal weblogs dedicate pages.

He composes travel guides and reviews great films of the cinematic canon, kind of. From time to time, he dreams up confessional mix tapes and their B-sides. At Word Riot, his “The Great Advertorial Sell-Out” appears in four parts, at two URLs. Mr. Malla has also written about grapes and multiple reincarnations of Ronald McDonald.

From his “RE: Our Relationship Wasn’t a Game!!!“:

I disagree, Brian. I think, if anything, it was more game than love affair, friendship, etc. Maybe even a sport. In fact, I have taken the liberty of compiling the following score card based on “our relationship.” As you will see, I emerge clearly victorious.

March 8: Two weeks of dating. You: “Do you want to be, like, my girlfriend?” Real cute. I say, “Sure.” Game on. (Score: Me – 0; You – 0)

March 12: You reluctant to engage in cunnilingus. Me persuasive, promising reciprocation. After feigned orgasm, I fall asleep. You masturbate into styrofoam cup. (Score: Me – 1; You – 0)

My favorite of his fictional works is probably “Best Guests of the Best Western Hotel,” because it’s funny but also contemplative and kind of eerie. Here’s an excerpt:

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Mr. Beethoven checked in with only one piece of luggage, a leather-bound valise. He failed to tip either the doorman, or the bell boy. In the elevator he broke wind and blamed it on a child.

During his two-night stay, Mr. Beethoven amassed a substantial bill viewing pornographic films on pay-per-view television. Evidence of semen was found in the bedsheets, wastebasket, shower and bathroom sink. Upon departure he was heard to refer to the hotel as a “shithole” and refused to offer identification while paying by personal cheque.

But in the room where Mr. Beethoven stayed sound has changed. The door opens not with a creak, but the chirping of sparrows. The bathroom taps pour a desert wind. You speak and your voice comes out thunder.

Recently Pasha concluded that Roald Dahl is his favourite writer, “no contest”:

I figure he’s the only author whose books I’ve read with the same passion and excitement for years and years, and still has yet to disappoint me — even his adult fiction, which I’ve only gotten into fairly recently, I find brilliant.

Although he was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Pasha grew up mostly in Ontario. “We actually lived in a trailer park when we first moved from the east coast,” he says. He has also lived in England and Australia, and spent extended periods of time in India. Now he lives in Montreal, where he participates in a weekly punk rock soccer event and is in school.

When asked how feels about the fact that Alice Munro, a Canadian writer, had another story in The New Yorker last week, he says, “Good. I feel great.”

As for Canadian writers we in the U.S. should be reading instead of, or at least in addition to, Munro, Pasha directs us to Stephany Aulenback.

It’s probably a good thing that the electricity went out and my laptop battery is ready to die, because I could go on indefinitely when you should just experience his wit for yourself. Good thing Montreal’s power grid is untouched by the blackout.