Thursday, December 03, 2009

Some praise for CNQ 77

Over at Sans Everything, Jeet Heer has some praise for CNQ 77. On newsstands now, why don't you go pick up a copy and help us raise our readership numbers and please the Ottawa bureaucrats. Or, better yet, subscribe.

I’m always afraid to tell people that my favourite literary magazine is Canadian Notes and Queries. The name is so off-putting. It sounds like a mimeographed sheet devoted to esoteric bibliographic information about Duncan Scott Campbell and Stephen Leacock. And in fact that’s what the magazine was for most of its history. But for the last decade or so, it’s been the home to the best essays on Canadian culture, and also some excellent short fiction. (John Metcalf was the editor who re-invented CNQ and he’s been helped by Daniel Wells, Alex Good and others). Perhaps wisely, the editors have tried to rebrand their journal as CNQ, to hide their embarrassing original name.

The new issue of CNQ, number 77, is chock full of the goodies including a new story by Clark Blaise. And some of these essays are already available online.

For Jeet's whole piece, please go here. Or check out the journal website, at

I should say though, that the real innovator behind Canadian Notes & Queries was Doug Fetherling. He's the first editor to transform it into a cultural journal, and much of what has happened since has been a basic fine tuning. Have to give credit where it is due. A lot of those early Fetherling -- and Metcalf -- back issues are fabulous. If you would like to try out some of those back issues, do let me know. They don't really date.

1 comment:

Jeet Heer said...

You know, I've read the Douglas Fetherling (or if you prefer George Fetherling) issues of CNQ but they slipped my mind. You are right that they were central to the magazine's reinvention. And of course I'm a big fan of the early Metcalf edited issues. And as has been mentioned, I should also have given a nod to Zach Wells. Oh well, I'll save that for a future posting.