I am responding immediately to your letter of the 3rd. I knew that the ignoble editors at Zone [Books] were disappointed in their intrigues.
They began, a long time ago, by writing to my publisher to inform her that they had the intention to translate the book, and that they would consider a failure to respond as a pure and simple acceptance! The insolence of such practices, which are illegal even in the "mail order" sales of the most negligible commodities, merited no response, and my publisher did not respond. Months later, they complained, and ten times afterwards, about the first absence of a response, and they simultaneous sought to maintain that my book was in the public domain, due to the sole fact that it had been pirated twenty years previously and that, nevertheless, their generosity went as far as offering me I-don't-know-what paltry sum of money. Each time they have had the response that I do not want to speak to them under any conditions; and they have sought to ignore me. In vain. I have a vivid antipathy, if not against all good-for-nothings, then certainly against those who have sought, stupidly, to intimidate me, and even more when they pretend to hide behind the law.
I know, without having seen it, that the translation that they have made is necessarily better than that of the anarchists in Detroit. But is it good enough? If you think so-- or, if not, if you persuade Verso [Books] to task you with revising it -- I would ask that my current publisher give his permission. It will be necessary to avoid a situation in which Kwinter, or the disquieting person who maneuvers behind him, draws any excessive profit from the operation.
Their true intentions remain obscure to me, but I am fully assured that they are very shady. I do not believe that they are really interested in money, but in the prestige: it is not money that they lack.Cordially yours,
P.S. I love the proofs of the Comments. Your notes on what risks remaining "unnecessarily obscure" manifests a perfect understanding of the spirit of the book.
 In 1994, Zone Books eventually succeeded in bringing out a translation of Debord's The Society of the Spectacle.
 Editions Gerard Lebovici, then managed by Floriana Lebovici.
 The Society of the Spectacle, Black & Red, Detroit, 1970 and 1977.
 The translation they published was done by Donald Nicholson-Smith.
 Black & Red Books.
 Editions Gerard Lebovici, then managed by Gerard Voitey.
 Sanford Kwinter, a co-founder of Zone Books.
 Publisher's note: Translator's notes that, unlike the French edition, clarified that which risked remaining uselessly obscure for English readers.
 English in original.
(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! January 2009. Footnotes by the translator, except where noted.)