Hugnet, Georges, 1906-1974

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French writer, poet and painter, expelled from the Surrealists in 1938, after a dispute with André Breton.

From the description of Notes about André Breton, [not before 1947]. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 78996469

French poet and critic.

From the description of Georges Hugnet Papers 1920-1971. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 85242177

Georges Hugnet, French poet and critic, was born in Paris in 1906. He spent most of his early childhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in 1913 returned to Paris to attend boarding school at Saint-Louis-de-Gonazgue. He later attended collège at Janson-de-Sailly in Saint-Malo, the childhood home of his mother and favorite vacation spot during his youth. Youthful exuberance and a penchant for pranks often caused trouble for young Georges, including an incident when he is said to have played Le Pélican, a fox-trot, during one of the religious services at his collège in Saint-Malo. Hugnet’s early rebelliousness eventually developed into a combative, stubborn nature causing quarrels with publishers, other artists, poets, friends, and family throughout his life.

Hugnet was a man of many talents and dabbled in a variety of artistic pursuits including poetry, editing, publishing, translating, film and play writing, acting, rare book collecting, and book binding design until his death in 1974.

Influential friends and mentors played an important role in Hugnet’s career. In 1920, he developed a friendship with his downstairs neighbor Marcel Jouhandeau. Jouhandeau influenced the young poet Hugnet and introduced Hugnet to his hero Max Jacob. During this time, Hugnet was also befriended by a number of other influential artists of the early 20th century, namely Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Tristan Tzara, Man Ray, and Jean Cocteau. With financial backing from his father, a furniture manufacturer, Hugnet established the publishing company Les Editions de la Montagne with the intent of publishing his own works and the work of his close friends including Tristan Tzara, Pierre de Massot, and Gertrude Stein.

It was Virgil Thomson who introduced Gertrude Stein and Hugnet in 1926. Stein and Hugnet’s short-lived, intense relationship, lasting until 1930, ended in a quarrel over the title page of Enfances, a collaborative project between the two authors. Hugnet originally wrote the poems of Enfances in French and Stein intended to translate the poems into English. The partnership failed when Stein’s translations became reflections and she demanded equal billing on the title page. Hugnet refused and the partnership, as well as the friendship, ended. In 1931, Stein published Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded, her response to Hugnet’s then unpublished Enfances .

In the 1930s Hugnet became involved with the Surrealist movement. André Breton, the self-declared Pope of the Surrealist movement, became interested in Hugnet after reading an article titled Spirit of Dada in Painting that Hugnet had written. When a mutual friend of both men, Tristan Tzara, introduced them, Hugnet became one of the Surrealists. He continued contributing to the Surrealist movement until 1939 when Breton excommunicated Hugnet for his failure to cease his friendship with former surrealist Paul Éluard.

The 1940s brought much change to Hugnet’s life. Germany occupied France early in the decade prompting Hugnet to join the French Resistance. He put his intellectual efforts towards the Resistance and published Non vouloir, one of the first Resistance pieces published in France. In 1940, Hugnet also married his first wife Germaine Pied; their marriage would last for ten years.

In 1950, Hugnet married Myrtille Hubert, a young woman of seventeen. The following year, Hugnet and Myrtille’s first and only son Nicolas Hugnet was born.

Until his death in 1974, Hugnet continued to publish a few new works and republish new editions of his former works. But mostly he concentrated on trading and collecting rare books and manuscripts from his friends in the French literary world.

From the guide to the Georges Hugnet Papers TXRC06-A17., 1920-1971, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Hugnet, Georges, 1906-1974. Papers of Gertrude Stein and her circle. University of Maryland Libraries, UMD Libraries
creatorOf Valançay, Robert. Robert Valançay correspondence, 1920-1985 (bulk 1930-1949). Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Gertrude Stein Collection TXRC06-A12., 1914-1973, (bulk 1946-1967) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Hugnet, Georges, 1906-1974. Notes about André Breton, [not before 1947]. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Hugnet, Georges, 1906-1974. Georges Hugnet Papers 1920-1971. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Level, André. Letters received by André Level, 1908-1949, bulk 1920-1939. Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Valentine Hugo Papers TXRC06-A16., 1872-1968 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Georges Hugnet Papers TXRC06-A17., 1920-1971 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Domínguez, Oscar, 1906-1957. Letter from Tenerife, 1936. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf André-May, Pierre, 1901-. Letters received by Pierre André-May, 1922-1971. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf William A. Bradley Literary Agency, 1923-1982. William A. Bradley Literary Agency Records 1909-1982. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Hugnet, Georges, 1906-1974. Surrealist ephemera, ca.1921-1969. Getty Research Institute
referencedIn William A. Bradley Literary Agency Records TXRC06-A20., 1909-1982 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Wouwer, Roger van de, 1933-. Roger van de Wouwer exhibition collection, 1960-1969. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Eluard, Paul, 1895-1952. [Capitale de la douleur] : manuscript, [ca. 1925]. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Papers of Gertrude Stein and Her Circle, 1927-1938, 1927-1938 Literature and Rare Books
creatorOf Arp, Jean, 1887-1966. Letters, 1942-1947. J. Paul Getty Center, Arts Archives
creatorOf Hugo, Valentine, 1887-1968. Valentine Hugo Papers, 1872-1968. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Lake, Carlton. Carlton Lake Collection of French Manuscripts, 1377-2000, (bulk 1895-1940). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Robert Valançay correspondence, 1921-1978 Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. Gertrude Stein Collection, 1914-1973 (bulk 1946-1967). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith André-May, Pierre, 1901-. person
associatedWith Arp, Jean, 1887-1966. person
associatedWith Breton, André, 1896-1966. person
correspondedWith Domínguez, Oscar, 1906-1957. person
associatedWith Eluard, Paul, 1895-1952 person
associatedWith Ferry, Marcelle. person
associatedWith Ferry, Marcelle. person
associatedWith Hugo, Valentine, 1887-1968 person
associatedWith Lake, Carlton. person
associatedWith Level, André. person
associatedWith Man Ray, 1890-1976 person
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Picabia, Francis, 1879-1953 person
associatedWith Queneau, Raymond, 1903-1976 person
associatedWith Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946 person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896- person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. person
associatedWith Toklas, Alice B. person
associatedWith Toklas, Alice B. person
associatedWith Tzara, Tristan, 1896-1963 person
associatedWith Valançay, Robert. person
associatedWith Valançay, Robert person
associatedWith William A. Bradley Literary Agency, 1923-1982 corporateBody
associatedWith Wouwer, Roger van de, 1933- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
France
France
Subject
Surrealism
World War, 1939-1945--Underground literature--France
Surrealism--France
World War, 1939-1945--Undergroundliterature
Authors--Political and social views
French poetry
Occupation
Binder
Function

Person

Birth 1906-07-11

Death 1974-06-26

French

French,

English

Information

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