Manning, Hugo

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1913-07-15
Death 1977-09-22
Gender:
Male
GB
English, Spanish; Castilian, French, German

Biographical notes:

British poet, short story writer, translator, and lecturer.

From the description of Papers, 1942-1977. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122590013

Hugo Manning was a poet, journalist and occasional artist. He was born In London of Jewish/Polish parents and in 1943 changed his name from Lazarus Perkoff. He was a journalist in places as diverse as Vienna and Buenos Aires. Manning was in the British intelligence corps during WWII and later was an editor and writer for Reuters. In 1948 he became the poetry editor for the New Statesman. From 1968 until his death, he produced much of his poetry and literary works. He made a number of literary friends in his life including Henry Miller, Alfred Perles, Lawrence Durrell and Jorge Luis Borges. BUENOS AIRES (1942), ODE (1942), ISHMAEL (1975), MODIGLIANI (1976), and DYLAN THOMAS (1977). The Hugo Manning papers are held at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas.

From the description of Hugo Manning collection. [1969]. (University of Victoria Libraries). WorldCat record id: 688596219

Manning (1913-1977) was a British poet, journalist and mystic.

From the description of Three psalms for Selene : manuscript, 1959. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612885065

Hugo Manning, poet, journalist, and mystic, has been described as a major poet with a minor reputation. Unfortunately, there is little extant biographical material written about Manning. Standard reference tools are silent and biographers have not been forthcoming. The information gathered here has been derived from personal papers, eulogies, and obituaries found in this collection. Of particular interest is a document that records the origin of Hugo Manning's name. On April 3, 1943, a Deed Poll on Change of Name was registered at the Central Office of the Supreme Court of Judicature whereby Lazarus Perkoff, also known as Hugh Leslie Perkoff, legally assumed the name Hugo Manning.

Lazarus Perkoff was born on July 15, 1913 at 123 Oxford Street in Mile End Road, London, to Jewish parents, Myer Perkoff, a tailor's machinist, and Rosa Perkoff (formerly Green), both born in Russian Poland. In time, Manning's father operated a sweet and tobacco shop in the East End and Manning attended the Stepney Jewish School until he was 14. Under the name Leslie Perkoff, Manning studied violin, viola, and theory from 1926 to 1931 at the Trinity College of Music, London, securing a scholarship in his last three years. In 1929, Manning pursued his violin study with the renowned European teacher Otakar Sevcik in Pisek, Czechoslovakia. For unknown reasons, Manning chose not to pursue a career in music; indeed, he appears to have been reticent about his musical talent, even with his friends.

In the early 1930s, Manning (then known as Hugh Leslie Perkoff) returned to London where he wrote weekly newspaper articles for the Sunday Referee and was a member of its editorial staff during 1935-36, among other freelance assignments. By May 1937, Manning was working in Vienna as a correspondent for the Jewish Chronicle and World Film News . From 1939 to 1942, Manning lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he was employed in various capacities by several newspapers and magazines including La Nación, Argentina Libre, Sur, Agonía, The Buenos Aires Herald, and The Times of Argentina . During his stay in Argentina, Manning was acquainted with leading South American literary figures such as Victoria Ocampo, Patricio Gannon with whom he edited the Argentine Anthology of Modern Verse (1942), and Jorge Luis Borges, who became his lifelong friend.

In November 1943, Manning volunteered for service in the British Army Intelligence Corps. While stationed in North Africa he suffered a leg injury and was subsequently discharged in August 1944. His injury caused him to walk with a cane for the remainder of his life.

In 1946 Manning joined the staff of Reuters, where he served for 19 years on the South American desk, working nights so he could devote his daytime hours to writing. In his last few years with Reuters, Manning became the senior sub-editor and features writer for the UK desk. He retired in 1968 and devoted the remainder of his life to literary pursuits.

Although Manning's career as a journalist began in the early 1930s, it wasn't until 1942 that his verse and prose was published privately and by small publishers including Villiers, Enitharmon Press, Village Press, and Trigram Press. Titles include The Secret Sea, Dylan Thomas, Dear Little Prince, Woman At the Window, This Room Before Sunrise, Madame Lola, Modigliani, Ishmael, and The It and the Odyssey of Henry Miller . Manning counted among his friends Denis ApIvor, Roy Campbell, Lawrence Durrell, John Cowper Powys, William Oxley, Suzan Rapoport, Derek Stanford, Phil Coram, Henry Miller, Paul Peter Piech, Alfred Perlès, Rosamond Lehmann, Jack Hammond, Muriel Spark, Alan Clodd, Kathleen Raine, David McFall, Mauricio Lasansky, and Jorge Luis Borges.

Manning's belief in a spiritual afterlife permeates much of his writing, as does the "discovery of man's role in the cosmic design." Manning believed in a purposeful existence wherein the proliferation of isolated, unique natures combine to form a transcendent wholeness guided and sustained by a "Life Force." In a letter to J. B. Priestley in 1969, Manning wrote "I consider myself to be a deeply religious person but find all systems of belief insufficient unless the question of man's immortality is looked at fearlessly …. I have had extra-sensory experiences of a revealing nature quite a number of times in my life; this has led me to undertake psychic research and the truth of man's immortality has become more than apparent to me …. Surely the acceptance of this immense truth could and would alter the pattern of most lives."

From the guide to the Hugo Manning Papers, 1936-1994, (bulk 1936-1977), (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)

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).

From the guide to the Hugo Manning Papers TXRC91-A13., 1942-1977, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center University of Texas at Austin)



Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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SNAC ID:
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Subjects:

  • Drawing
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Libretti
  • Poets, English--20th century

Occupations:

  • Authors.

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