Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy 10th! Shane Neilson on CNQ

The magazine CNQ changed my life. I remember picking up a copy of the version edited by John Metcalf and printed by Tim Inkster, elegant and woodsy, in 1999. I must have bought it at a dreaded Chapters big box store, perhaps in Clayton Park when I was going to medical school. I remember reading Carmine Starnino deglove a couple of Canadian poets, perhaps Anne Szumigalski and David Donnell; John Metcalf corrected a reputation too. Was it M.G. Vassanji? I can't recall, but what I do remember is the payload of the prose: megatons of devastation wrought on a literature that was, vastly, too nice. CNQ was the only place to go for, if not the truth, then for passionate disagreement with received wisdom. The spirit of that issue, and the issues thereafter that have come under the editorial eye of Alex Good, inform my writing still. 

No comments: