Earlier this year we batted around the idea that instead of publishing three issues per year, we could publish individual works every single week. In the end, we opted for the status quo, and while status quo never sounds sexy, there are actually huge upsides to the traditions we’ve established. For one, issue deadlines have an amazing power of focusing the mind! As ever, we’ve been amazed at the sense of teamwork and dedication that everyone at the magazine demonstrates without fail, including our contributors, whose submissions have kept us riveted. Even though all of us editors work or study full-time, emails fly around at 6:00 am or at midnight and all weekend long. It’s inspiring to collaborate with professionals who are committed to this labour of love.
Having now wrapped up glorious Issue 26, we can see that, as we have with past issues, we’ve birthed something with a distinct personality.
Guest fiction editor, Guillaume Morissette, can tell you all about the sharp profile of the stories he selected (thanks so much Guillaume!). Our take is that Issue 26 is utterly international in flavour. Even though we privilege Quebec and Canadian content, we’re finding that wherever they live, our contributors are deeply plugged into events both at home and around the world. In “Bridges We Build,” a Canadian engineer in Pakistan, working to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by terrorism, remembers a terrible childhood accident. In “Surprise,” we see through the experiences of a Canadian family in Israel the hurt caused by enforced gender roles. We’re also hearing voices from the past — whether it’s Catherine Chandler’s translation of 19th century French poet Paul Verlaine’s “The Art of Poetry,” or Isabelle Cimpan’s beautiful photographic reminiscences of her Catholic education at Montreal’s Collège Sainte-Marcelline. And in the sole audio piece, “She Stops Watches,” what a pleasure it is to listen to our American cousins speaking in accents just a little bit different from those north of the border.
The violent attacks on Paris have profoundly influenced at least two of our contributors. Fear can also be deeply personal. Megan Baxter’s “Lessons” is a coming-of-age vignette from real life evoking that adolescent thrill and anxiety of realizing your body is in full view of the other.
These pieces and the many others make us realize that, in its own way, carte blanche can serve as a portal into many worlds.
If on an increasingly polarized planet solidarity is even possible, perhaps it can be found in art, in which we find humans are humans wherever they are. We hope you will enjoy Issue 26 of carte blanche.