Monday, February 15, 2010

The Fiddlehead turns 65 and reflects on constancy in a changing world

One of Canada's longest-standing literary journals, The Fiddlehead, has been published since 1945 and this year is celebrating its 65th anniversary. According to a story in the Saint John Telegraph-Journal, editor Ross Leckie says the quarterly journal's slogan is "sixty-five and not retiring".
In the shadow of the Second World War, the magazine was founded by a few Fredericton writers trying to get a sense of the local writing community and who hoped they just might meet writers in other places.

"When The Fiddlehead began, I think there was a sense that Canadian literature didn't mean a lot, it didn't have any cohesive energy. The writers were feeling very much alone," Leckie, who has edited the journal since 1997, says.

"So the journals began in this very simple way."
Leckie says he's content with the relatively small circulation (around 1,000) which he describes as "a full and rich diverse community who read it. If you can find a walk of life, I can probably find a subscriber." And he's not particularly worried about the encroachment of the internet; in fact, he suggests it might actually be good for literature:
"If I'm looking for what's really good in Canadian literature, I'm not going to go to the web, I'm going to go to the top journals. You have to think of it in terms of the reader. If I go on the Internet, I can find a vast amount of literature. But it also means I have to pore through endless gobs of terrible stuff in order to find something useful or interesting. The Fiddlehead is kind of a name that says what you will find in here is of quality."



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