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University of Texas at Austin

Hugo Manning:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator Manning, Hugo, 1913-1977
Title Hugo Manning Papers 1942-1977
Dates: 1942-1977
Extent 8 boxes (3.25 linear feet )
Abstract: Complete manuscripts and fragments, notebooks of untitled poetry, diaries, correspondence, and printed material comprise the Hugo Manning papers.
RLIN Record # TXRC91-A13
Languages Materials in English, French, Germanand Spanish.
Access Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition Purchase and Gift, 1964-1987
Processed by Wendy Bowersock, 1991

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Little has been written about the Jewish poet Hugo Manning. He was not only a poet, but also a short story writer, a translator, and a lecturer on many literary subjects. Born in 1913, his early life is not well documented; however, Manning lived for a time in Vienna immediately before the Anschluss with Nazi Germany in 1938. In Vienna, Manning lived near the home of Sigmund Freud which later led him to dedicate to Anna Freud his Dead Season's Heritage, published in 1942 in Buenos Aires. During World War II, Manning served as a Lance-Corporal in the Intelligence Corps in North Africa. After being wounded in North Africa in 1944, Manning began a correspondence with Henry Miller that would last for twenty years. In his letters to Manning, Miller urges him to write prose and to say "those things which seem incommunicable." Manning also lived in Cordoba, Argentina, for four years. There, he wrote for La Nacion, Sur, Argentina Libre, Agonia, The Buenos Aires Herald, and The Times of Argentina, as well as collaborating with Gannon and Sir Eugen Mullington-Drake on the Anthology of Argentine Verse.
Manning's interest in parapsychology is expressed in his letters from the writer and medium Eileen J. Garrett. However, Hugo Manning is best known for his poetry. His works include Buenos Aires (1942), Ode (1942), the short story Storm over Eskwasilly (1942), Smile, Ichabod: A War Poem (1944), Beyond the Terminus of Stars (1949), The Crown and the Fable: a Poetic Sequence (1950), Dustrobed Dancers (1967), The Secret Sea (1968), The Dream (1971), Encounter In Crete (1971), Now (1972/73), The People May Laugh (1973), Madame Lola (1974), Women at the Window (1974), Tread Gently Now (1974), This Room Before Sunrise (1974), the short story The Daughter (1975), Instead of a Poem-excerpts from a journal including the dates September 9, 1975 to September 18, 1975, Ishmael (1975), Modigliani (1976), and Dylan Thomas (1977).

Scope and Contents

Complete manuscripts and fragments, notebooks of untitled poetry, diaries, correspondence, and printed material comprise the Hugo Manning papers. The material is arranged in four series: Works, Book Withdrawals, Diaries, and Correspondence.
All Manning's major poetical works are represented in the collection. In the first series, manuscripts, typescripts, and galley proofs are grouped together under the title of each work, which are arranged alphabetically. Under each title, Manning's work is organized chronologically, as it was left by the author. The series begins with carbon copies and proof copies of Manning's works The Crown and the Fable, Dylan Thomas, The Faith-Love-Fun of Henry Miller, Instead of a Poem, Ishmael, and Modigliani. The best-represented work of the collection is Manning's The Secret Sea. Through the many manuscripts, typescripts, and revisions, most of which are dated, one can trace the development of the poem. Following The Secret Sea is a carbon copy of This Room Before Sunrise, as well as loose untitled fragments of poems and spiral notebooks containing untitled fragments. Two interesting additions to Manning's works are a book of forty-five ink sketches and the vocal score Chorales, consisting of the words from Manning's poem, The Secret Sea, with music by Denis ApIvor, dated July 1964. Contained also in this series are three reviews of Manning's The Secret Sea, and a comment by Mario Praz about The Secret Sea enclosed with an essay on the longer poems of Hugo Manning by Jeremy Reed, also called The Secret Sea.
The second series contains book withdrawals. These are notes written by Manning that were found in books that were inscribed to him. The book withdrawals were removed from The Atoz Formula by Asa Benveniste, The Black Book by Lawrence Durrell, The Dark Thorn by Charles Wrey Gardiner, Shapes and Sounds by Mervyn Laurence Peake, and The Fanfarlo, and other Verse by Muriel Spark. Also, there is a letter to Andreas Brown from Else B. Lorch that was withdrawn from Tenessee Williams' In the Winter of Our Cities inscribed to Manning. These books and many others that belonged to Manning have been cataloged for the HRC book collection.
The third series, Diaries, follows Manning's life from December 3, 1957 to September 15, 1977. However, in a diary marked "Inconclusive" by Manning, the dates 28-8-53 through 21-12-53 and 29-9-70 through 2-10-70 can be found. The diaries contain not only the daily happenings and daily thoughts of Manning, but they also include poetry and a few sketches.
The final series, Correspondence, contains Manning's letters to Dr. F.W. Roberts, former director of the Humanities Research Center. Also included are letters received by Hugo Manning from such prominent literary figures as Nancy Cunard, T.S. Eliot, Henry Miller, Eugene O'Neill, Ezra Pound, and Muriel Spark, among many others. Many of the writers thank Manning for sending them his poems. Others, such as Henry Miller, encourage Manning's further writing, and Mario Praz discusses the influence of Borges and T.S. Eliot on Hugo Manning's poetry. There is a complete list of correspondents at the end of the inventory.

Index Terms


Alberti, Rafael, 1902-
ApIvor, Denis
Betjeman, John, Sir, 1906-
Block, Ernest, 1880-1959
Britten, Benjamin, 1913-1976
Bronowski, J.
Campbell, Roy, 1901-1957
Chagall, Marc, 1887-
Comfort, Alexander
Connolly, Cyrill, 1903-1974
Cunard, Nancy, 1896-1965
de le Guarde, Alfredo
Durrell, Lawrence
Eliot, T.S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965
Freud, Anna, 1895-
Gardiner, Charles Wrey, 1901-
Garrett, Eileen Jeanette Lyttle, 1893-1970
Gerhardi, William
Graves, Robert, 1895-
Hale, Lionel, 1909-
Hesse, Hermann, 1877-1962
John, Augustus, 1878-1961
Johnson, Eyvind, 1900-
Jung, Carl Gustav, 1875-1961
Knight, G. Wilson
Lahr, Oonach
Lesansky, Mauricio, 1914-
Lehmann, Rosamond, 1901-
Macaulay, Rose, Dame
MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1892-
MacLeish, Archibald
Miller, Henry
Neuburg, Victor E.
O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953
Patchen, Kenneth, 1911-1972
Perlès, Alfred
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972
Praz, Mario
Read, Hervert, Sir, 1893-1968
Sackville-West, V. (Victoria), 1892-1962
Sassoon, Siegfried, 1886-1967
Spark, Muriel
Spender, Stephen, 1909-
Stanford, Derek
Supervielle, Jules, 1884-1960
Symonds, John
Treece, Henry, 1911-1966
Usborne, John

Document Types


Hugo Manning Papers--Folder List