The story so far:
Canadian Notes & Queries was first published in 1968 by William Morley as a four-page supplement to the Abacus, the newsletter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Canada. Modelled on the British Notes & Queries, it was a journal, as Morley wrote, “of little discoveries encountered, often by serendipity, in the course of scholarly investigation,” and queries which often arise in the course of research which are beyond one’s “present resources to solve.” Morley passed on the magazine to Douglas (now George) Fetherling 22 years later, and Fetherling, sensing that the internet would soon take over the magazine’s function as an academic bulletin, reinvented it until it took on something more closely resembling its present format: a journal of literary, cultural and artistic history and criticism. Fetherling continued publishing the magazine with either “charming” or “calculated” irregularity—until 1997, when he passed it on to Tim and Elke Inkster of the Porcupine’s Quill. The Inksters published 18 more issues over the next nine years, before selling it to Biblioasis in 2006.
“CNQ is dedicated to exploring the alleys and roads less travelled of Canadian literature. No fawning profiles of hot authors, in other words. No reports on six-figure advances or who’s travelling to Pyongyang on behalf of PEN or what publisher is earning 70 per cent of its revenue from e-books. What matters here is the backward glance, the appreciation, the rumination, the memoir.”—James Adams, Globe & Mail
“Canadian Notes & Queries is, by far, the best magazine in Canada.”—Jeet Heer, The New Republic
“ … it may be the best literary journal in the land.”—John Fraser, The National Post
“People always think I’m joking when I say Canadian Notes and Queries is my favorite literary magazine, but it’s true!”—Paul Wells, Macleans