The Montrealer. vol. 32, no. 5 (May 1958)
I don't remember much of The Montrealer. I was in elementary school when it folded and accept no responsibility for its demise. For a year or two our family subscribed to its successor, Montreal Calendar Magazine. That periodical lived into my university years, but I don't remember much of it either. Never bought copy. You can blame me for that one.
Did I miss out in not reading Montreal Calendar Magazine? I have no idea. A quick go around of old friends finds that not one ever so much as picked up a copy. No one can tell me the first thing about it.
Ethel Wilson contributed, as did Joyce Marshall. The Montrealer was the first to publish "Dance of the Happy Shades" and four other stories that would years later feature in Alice Munro's debut collection of the same name.In this issue Richler is the supplier of fiction with "The Balloon", a short story that has never been republished.
The kid returns 23 pages later to weigh in on the brand spanking new New Canadian Library. We've also got forgotten humorist Norman Ward, Leslie Roberts' unheeded warnings about American imperialism, James Minifie's observations on bumbling Prime Minister Diefenbaker and an uncollected essay by Hugh MacLennan.
Then there are advertisements – lots of advertisements – each a reflection of a Montreal that is no more.
It's all too easy to wax nostalgic about a time in which one never lived. It takes no keen eye to observe that the the city's linguistic minority is all but absent in the magazine's 66 pages. The uncredited "Guide to Better Shopping in Montreal" features just one business with a French name:
May is the month par excellence not only for experiencing Paris, but for re-imagining it, and for the latter pursuit Café Chez-Pierre suggests itself as an ideal locale.We're in a better place now.
Trivia: I found this copy of The Montrealer, the first I've ever bought, in late March at Brockville's From Here to Infinity. If the mailing label is to be believed – and why not? – it first belonged to Alice Lighthall, eldest daughter of novelist, poet, historian, philosopher and anthologist W.D. Lighthall (Mayor of Westmount, 1900-1903).