Among the most significant of the Swiss poets, Gustave Roud had a great influence on French-speaking Switzerland’s poetic community following the Second World War: an entire generation of young poets (Ph. Jaccottet, M. Chappaz, J. Chessex) came to him as the representative of the highest aesthetic, as an author who connected poetry to a spiritual experience of the world by renewing the insights of the German Romantics he translated (Novalis, Hölderlin). A mentor for young poets, much more so than C.F. Ramuz was or even P.-L. Matthey, Roud also conducted numerous exchanges with other Swiss intellectuals (A. Béguin, M. Raymond) as well as with the principal editors of poetry (H.-L. Mermod, A. Mermoud, J. Hutter, B. Galland). His central position in the Suisse-Romande literary community contrasted with his geographical withdrawal into the Vaud countryside, in Carrouge, into the heart of the Jorat region, and even more so with the feeling of overwhelming isolation reflected just as much in his work as in his particularly abundant correspondence.

Published two years after his death, the three volumes of Ecrits (1978) gather together the principal texts of Roud's work. But his oeuvre cannot be reduced into his poetic prose only, even if this constitutes the core. After his death, several categories of writing were revealed, and today they are the object of increased attention. Because even if above all he was a poet, his epistolary writings and his diary take up most of his daily life; add to this his work as a translator, literary critic, as well as his collaborative work with editors.