Hugues C. Pernath Biography

Hugues C. Pernath is the attractive literary pseudonym of Hugo Wouters, who was born in the suburbs of Antwerp

At the age of sixteen he volunteered for the Belgian army in order to escape the friction between his parents, who were in the process of divorcing. At the beginning of the 1950s his first poems were published in the avant-garde magazine Het Cahier. From 1955 on, with Paul Snoek and Gust Gils, he became the driving force behind the magazine gard-sivik and a pivotal figure in the second experimental generation in Flanders. In 1957, when Paul Snoek for called up for military service in the Belgian army, he and the professional soldier Hugues Pernath wrote each other poetic letters. A selection appeared as Soldatenbrieven in 1961. Their work had thematic affinities, but their approach to poetry was totally different. Pernath favoured autonomous literature, Snoek a romantic-expressive style.