13 July 2020

CNQ: Spring? Spring Ish

“When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.”

The same might be said of a magazine's Spring Issue landing in July. Something is seriously wrong, though I dare say we're getting used to it. Yesterday, I donned a mask, looked about, and felt good that others waiting to buy beer had done the same.

What a long, strange year this has been... and it's barely half-way done. I like to think the arrival of this new issue of Canadian Notes & Queries signals a return to better times. There's a whole lot to look at, like this issue's What's Old, which features:

Here I remind readers that my birthday is next month.

The Dusty Bookcase column in this issue concerns Robert W. Service's thriller The Master of the Microbe. Published in 1926, its hero, an American expat living in Montparnasse, stumbles over a plot to unleash a deadly virus that attacks the respiratory system. Its earliest pages are as interesting and entertaining as anything I've read this year.

You'll also find Bruce Whiteman on George Fetherling, whose The Writing Life (Montreal: McGill-Queens UP, 2013) I edited:

I'm all in with Nigel Beale, who sounds off on the disregard this country demonstrates toward its literary heritage:

David Mason is spot on: There's no such thing as book hoarding.

The embarrassment of riches continues with Colette Maitland's contribution:

And then there's Cynthia Holz's memoir, 'Out of the Bronx':

Other contributors include:
Jeff Bursey
Page Cooper
Elaine Dewar
Meags Fitzgerald
Stephen Fowler
Ulrikka S. Gernes
Basia Gilas
Douglas Glover
Alex Good
Brett Josef Grubisic
Alex Pugsley
Kelly S. Thompson
Shelley Wood
editor Emily Donaldson

An unexpected treat, the copy I received included this insert:

Again, my birthday is next month.


  1. "a deadly virus that attacks the repertory system."
    Does it cause over-acting?

    1. Ha! Don't know about the over-acting, but I can report that with this particular virus there is no second night.

      Thanks for catching that, Roger. Spellcheck is no friend.