Gustave Roud’s abundant correspondence, only a part of which is published, establishes the poet’s mentorship with respect to Suisse-Romande literature between the years of 1930 and 1970. Whether his work grew out of professional engagements (especially from his work on the reading committee of the Guilde du Livre), upon the initiative of young poets, or from a mutual understanding between writers, these epistolary exchanges made it possible for Roud to take an active part in literary society despite his withdrawal from the urban centers. More than anything it is Roud the reader and critic who comes out in these discussions with both authors and other major critics of his time (Albert Béguin, Marcel Raymond, Georges Nicole). Roud’s correspondence reveals his affinities in terms of themes and poetic excavations (E.-H. Crisinel, G. Nicole, C. Colomb) as well as the contrasts (G. Borgeaud, P.-L. Matthey). His letters also offer insight into the Suisse-Romande publishing community (B. Galland).

Lettre de Philippe Jaccottet à Gustave Roud, Fonds Gustave Roud, CRLR.

Recommended reading

Roud’s correspondence has been widely published, notably in Les Cahiers Gustave Roud. Some of these volumes cover several decades. Mixing reflections on poetic creation, personal exchanges and editorial questions, these letters offer a particularly interesting glimpse into the evolution of the relationships between Roud and the remarkable writers of the generation that followed his. This includes Roud’s letters with Jaccottet, 1942-1976 (Gallimard, 2002), Chessex, 1953-1976 (Infolio, 2011) or Chappaz, 1939-1976 (Zoé, 1993). To look deeper into Roud’s reflections on artistic creation in a larger sense, the letters between Roud and the painters Steven-Paul Robert and René Auberjonois are the best place to look. For an overview of the author’s activity in this area, see: Claire Jaquier, « Sur la correspondance de Gustave Roud », L'Epistolaire, n° 37, 2011, p. 269-287.