The complete works of the Vaudois poet Gustave Roud are released on Thursday

In the French-speaking literary world, this is one of the events of the year: the publication on Thursday of the complete works of the Vaudois writer, poet and photographer Gustave Roud (1897-1976) by Zoé editions. The four-volume set has over 5,000 pages.

Considered one of the greatest poets of French-speaking Switzerland, successor to Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, Gustave Roud devoted his life both to poetic writing and to maintaining an intimate relationship with everyday life, his environment, the land of Jorat in particular and nature in general in his Journal. He has also passionately practiced translation, art criticism and photography.

Born in Saint-Légier, above Vevey, Roud lived most of his life in Carrouge (VD). A tall and solid walker, an insatiable drinker of the landscapes of plains and hills, always close to the living and the elementary, a keen observer of peasant gestures and bodies, this “romantic of the 20th century” never ceased to testify in his texts to an “immanent paradise”. He will have sent her a song of the world punctuated by a meditation on the end of traditional rurality.

“Contemplative and timeless”

“Gustave Roud is an open window on the world, a poetic consciousness that merges with this world shaped in a kind of immediacy and necessity”, explains to Keystone-ATS Daniel Maggetti, director of the Literature Center in French-speaking Switzerland (CLSR) at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and co-director of the “Complete Works”. “It is a very seductive contemplative and timeless work, of indisputable literary quality”, he says.

“Although he took over from Ramuz, he is distinguished by a writing that did not seek to shake up forms. His poetic prose, his lyrical style, is more classical. He had an admiration for poets such as Rimbaud, Mallarmé or Valéry”, notes the professor.

“Rhapsodic Writing”

M. Maggetti readily speaks of a “rhapsodic writing”, of a “process of creation by layers of writing”, of “fleeting illuminations”, constantly passing from the diary, a sort of “reservoir” of extremely varied writing, to more stylized poetic texts. “Roud is constantly rearranging notes, observations, fragments or small sets of autonomous writings”, he specifies.

“He really has a profile of his own. Not to mention that he was a major cultural actor of his time. His activity was very rich and varied: art critic, literary, cultural and journalistic columnist in addition to being translator,” says Maggetti.

Color and black and white photos

The “Complete Works” of Gustave Roud published by Zoé come in the form of a four-volume box set with some 5,100 pages, 90 color photos and numerous black-and-white illustrations. The first volume (1456 pages) includes all his poetic work, his collections of poems but also texts published in magazines and other unpublished.

The second (1088 pages) brings together most of his translations, ie collections devoted to Novalis, Hölderlin, Rilke, Trakl, of whom Roud was one of the first French translators. This volume also contains translations published in journals or in collective volumes, notably by Wilhelm Müller, Goethe, Clemens Brentano, Hildegard von Bingen and Eugenio Montale.

The third (1280 pages) delivers the notes of the Journal (1916-1976) in all their archival diversity: scattered pages, manuscripts and typescripts, notebooks, notebooks, diaries. Topics range from daily events, self-reflections, to descriptions of landscapes, projects, art talk and poems.

The fourth volume (1296 pages) brings together all the articles and critical studies that Roud devoted to poets, writers and painters, most often contemporary. There are also his collaborations for various publishers and magazines.

four years of work

This critical edition of “Gustave Roud, Complete Works” required four years of work by a team of six researchers, co-directed by Daniel Maggetti and Claire Jaquier, professor of literature at UNIL. It is accompanied by indexes, introductions, notices and notes. The project received support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Its budget is around one million francs.

The sources come for more than half from a rich collection of archives kept at the CLSR, if not from the library of La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Swiss Literary Archives in Bern. Only a few rare documents were found in private homes. If it is not impossible that there are still one or two manuscripts hidden here or there, the essential of the production of the Vaudois poet is therefore found in these “Complete Works”.

These are supplemented by an electronic component, a website designed as a genetic support for publishing as well as a documentary and thematic complement. In November, a much more condensed book on Gustave Roud will also be released in the “Savoir Suisse” collection: “The Plural Universe of Poetry” (168 pages).

To familiarize yourself with the poet’s work for the first time, Daniel Maggetti recommends reading the collection of poetry and other stories “Air of Solitude”. His most personal favorites are the book “Lost Campaign” and the poem “Blindness”.

This article has been published automatically. Source: ats

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The complete works of the Vaudois poet Gustave Roud are released on Thursday

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