from Guy Debord

To Anne Krief and Jaime Semprun
Tuesday, 10 June [1975]
Dear Anne and Jaime:

Thanks for all your letters. How do you manage to read L’Espresso at the far end of Brittany? Here[1] I can only read Le Monde and one must be a subscriber for this.

The newspapers’ quasi-boycott of La Guerre sociale[2] is not surprising, but unfortunate all the same. Poor Roy![3] And what will Bott[4] do? Pity, no doubt, as is customary. Shouldn’t Lebovici[5] publish one or two notices to alert the public that inevitably awaits this book?

I do indeed see what Balland[6] is: party of nothing, he has ended in poverty. One even says that bankruptcy is always close.

The cretinism of those Italian journalists derives from a singular provincialism. For them, all of the importance is in the 1957-60 period because the SI then had a certain Piémontian character and, during this very period, they didn’t know about the SI. I believe that the central event around which they pile up their scraps of erudition leads to this: an impoverished retrospective of “industrial painting” had been disrupted by ultra-Leftists who presented themselves as inheritors of the SI. In any case, the good they have done is to say the SI hasn’t existed since 1972. This truth is even more useful in Italy because “all the representatives of the old world and all the parties”[7] claim to be hunting this phantom, this dear old mole. This fact [the alleged existence of the SI] must be reassuring to Gianfranco [Sanguinetti], at least because he won’t be so desolate (I haven’t had news from him, nor news concerning his pamphlet,[8] for more than a month).

If farce is truly necessary for humanity to joyously separate itself from its past, each week one can measure the progress of the world, notably in France. When one sees the comrade-whores occupy the churches and declare that they won’t let themselves be “manipulated” by those who want “to recuperate” their movement, I rejoice that I didn’t waste the time that I spent disrupting this unfortunate era.

I am a little less optimistic than Alice [Debord] concerning the ignorance of the hooligans from the Gate of the Lilacs[9] apropos of the SI. I suspect some of them know something about it. But what is certain is that no one recognizes me. This is fortunate, and permits me to better gauge the spirit of the young workers of today: it is very encouraging for us, and completely hopeless for the system and its supporters.

I am sure that the mason will complete his work before your arrival. I explained to him the necessity of the room for the friends that I am expecting, and he assures me that it will be finished. In vino veritas:[10] he has an extremely sincere air about him.

I am impatient to see Anne in new dances.

Best wishes,

[1] Translator: Auvergne.

[2] La Guerre sociale au Portuagl, by Jaime Semprun (Editions Champ Libre, 1975).

[3] Translator: a journalist and Jaime Semprun’s uncle.

[4] Francois Bott, a journalist.

[5] Translator: Gerard Lebovici, director of Editions Champ Libre.

[6] The publisher André Balland.

[7] Translator: a quote from Marx’s letter to Engels, 18 May 1859.

[8] Veritable Report on the Last Chances to Save Capitalism in Italy, by Gianfranco Sanguinetti. [Published two months later, in August 1975.]

[9] Young people from the Parisian banlieue who moved to the Haute-Loire region. Cf. letter dated 26 December 1976. [In particular, see the reference to dinner with the “young workers."]

[10] Translator: Latin for “There is truth in vine.”

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol "0": Septembre 1951 - Juillet 1957: Complete des "lettres retrouvees" et d l'index general des noms cites by Librairie Artheme Fayard, October 2010. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2011. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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