Ed Alcock

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Hobbledehoy

Hobbledehoy, by Ed Alcock with an original text by Emmanuel Carrère

published by Editions Terre Bleue (2013)

The photographs of Ed Alcock, and the accompanying short-story by Emmanuel Carrère capture the intimacy between a mother and her young son.

« He was neither man nor boy, he was but a hobbledehoy ». Ed Alcock’s father used this Old English rhyme to refer to the intermediate state through which boy children pass shortly after their tenth year.

Three periods, two summers, one year apart, and in the frame, Ed Alcock’s son, Nino, alone or with his mother. The first and last of these periods are solar, mineral. The other is wet and of a burgeoning green. Whatever the decor, these two characters appear to be as alone as on the first morning of the world, caught in a bubble of essential intimacy and an obvious physical proximity. Their love shines in this counted time, before the distancing of adolescence, when the mother still has access to the « virginal » body of a son, who may still lie full length, against her naked body. But in the heat and abandon of peaceful holiday idleness, a slow, silent, irreversible metamorphosis is at work. "Children are like the years," said Céline, "we never see them again".

Looking through the pictures in Hobbledehoy, the writer, Emmanuel Carrère is reminded of a story from his own life: a "rotten holiday " in a rented house in the Alpilles. In a "locked room", where the owner of the house had stocked his private affairs, the idle writer discovers a "large box of photographs". Images of a young man, a young woman and two little girls. All four of them never photographed together. A beautiful family. "Such a manifesto of happiness calls for the presence of a witness," justifies Carrère. 

A witness is exactly the position in which the photographer finds himself. A familiar voyeur, without trespass. He steals nothing other than time, suspended and rare, that will never return.

Veronique Rossignol for Livres Hebdo

 

Hobbledehoy

Ed Alcock

avec un récit d’Emmanuel Carrère

Éditions Terre Bleue

Parution Novembre 2013

 

Curieuse histoire que celle de ce livre. Des photos de vacances ? Oui, mais faites par l’un des meilleurs portraitistes de presse actuels. Un hommage à la mère de son enfant ? Oui, mais n’entre-t-il pas de la jalousie dans le regard de ce père qui observe ? Ed Alcock ne photographie pas le bonheur familial. Ni mariage, ni baptême, ni éclats de rire. Il se photographie en eux, Muriel et Nino. Il va chercher chez eux la gravité qu’il éprouve en les observant. Il est là, dans ce sérieux dont les deux personnages se départissent rarement.

Hobbledehoy est un livre pour ceux qui savent regarder, qui ont encore envie de fouiner, de chercher le propos avec excitation, d’en admettre le ton et les nuances. Hobbledehoy a suggéré à Emmanuel Carrère un texte basé sur le souvenir d’un album de photographies découvert dans la pièce fermée d’une location de vacances. Il ne s’agit ni d’une préface ni d’une postface, mais d’un récit qu’ont spontanément inspiré à l’écrivain les photographies d’Ed Alcock. Ce genre de texte qu’on n’obtient jamais par la commande et que nous sommes heureux de publier.

 

 

François Cuel, éditions Terre Bleue

 

« Mon père m’appelait souvent « hobbledehoy ». Il me lançait, moitié en parlant moitié en chantant:

“he was neither man, nor boy ; he was but a hobbledehoy”. [ce n’était ni un homme ni un garçon ; ce n’était qu’un hobbledehoy]

Ma famille emploie ce mot, tiré du vieil anglais, depuis des générations. Il désigne cette période gauche, ingrate entre l’enfance et l’âge adulte. »

Ed Alcock

 

« S’ils avaient été moches, renfrognés, si leur vie m’avait paru triste

ou leurs sourires forcés, j’aurais vite refermé le carton, pensé que non,

vraiment, je n’avais pas le droit de surprendre leur intimité. »

Emmanuel Carrère

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Hobbledehoy

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A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
A photograph from the book Hobbledehoy by Ed Alcock. The book is accompanied by an original text by French author, Emmanuel Carrere.
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