D’abord auteur d’enquêtes sociologiques et historiques (Les Porteurs de valises, Les Intellocrates, Génération, Tu vois je n’ai pas oublié avec Patrick Rothman), il s’est tourné vers des...
In this factual account, with a title taken from a Verhaeren poem, the author gives us his answer to the conundrum: How To Be a Breton. But he is not writing a case for the defence of Brittany or for the province it once was, it is a plea for now and for other places. Hamon describes his childhood in Saint-Brieuc after the Second World War, his run-ins with school and with religion, his political education in a town that was the first to swing to the left, his comings and goings - from an early age - between Brittany and Paris. How he then became a seasonal Breton, a “tourist” among his own family, both happy and unhappy to be so.
Finally he comes back to Brittany itself. He takes enthusiastically to being an adoptive son of Brest, showing the same eagerness he felt when he met sailors. He loves Brest with its whiff of anarchic trade unionism. But he also misses big cities.
So he sets up home in between. He understands that once he leaves it will be for ever. Understands that he has no roots, merely “moorings” - strong ones that can be untied and tied up again, that stay with you but from which you are free.
This is a book about passion, openly admitted passion.
In this book Hervé Hamon explores his relationship with his native Brittany. An impassioned, passionate relationship. But a complex one. When you love, you have to leave but you can never take what you are leaving with you.
Hervé Hamon was born in Brittany in 1946, and is a writer and editor. At first an author of sociological and historical investigations (Les Porteurs de valises, Les Intellocrates, Générations, Tu vois je n’ai pas oublié with Patrick Rotman), he then turned to more personal literary texts in which the sea plays a predominant role (Besoin de mer, L’Abeille d’Ouessant, Le Livre des tempêtes, Paquebot, Demandons l’impossible) as well as autobiographical verse with Le Vent du plaisir.