First published in 1974, Mourir à Scoudouc emerged out of a period of cultural awakening. Chiasson's poems denounced the narrow limitations of the past and traced the lines of a fresh collective vision. The poems were lyrical, referentially modern, and steeped in the rhythms and forms that had emerged from the Americas, Europe, and India.
Now, more than 40 years later, Herménégilde Chiasson is considered to be the father of Acadian modernism, and Mourir à Scoudouc is widely regarded as one of the foundational works of modern Acadian literature. Several of the poems, including the oft-anthologized long poem, "Eugénie Melanson," have now achieved iconic status, appearing frequently in books, magazines, and films — in French and in English.
To Live and Die in Scoudouc is the first English edition of this seminal collection. It replicates Chiasson's design of the 2017 edition and features his own photographs as well as his new introductory essay.
Although several of the poems have been previously translated, To Live and Die in Scoudouc features fresh renditions by Jo-Anne Elder, who worked closely with Chiasson on the translations.
"Le travail d’Elder est de manière générale très solide et très senti, pour faire passer une poésie qui emprunte des sentiers fréquentés mais en étant à l’affût de l’image nouvelle."