from Jaime Semprun

To Gerard Lebovici
19 January 1977

I retain from your letter[1] the fact that you made a very great mistake by not signifying to me more clearly your rejection of my manuscript, which didn't please you at all, but by discussing at length the perspective of its improvement. For my part, I have made a no-less-great mistake by inconsiderately attributing this rejection, when it came, to an exterior influence.[2] I think that it would be preferable to immediately stop this disastrous involvement, which has already led you to classify me, according to your last conclusions, among those "apprentice authors" who "have little or nothing to say" and who maladroitly dissimulate behind an affectation of brevity. (For those who want to be Debord, the place isn't for the taking, that much I know.) One sees well that this inclination towards disproportionate judgments only leads to aggravated mistakes, because -- when you say that you already had in mind a quite negative judgment of my capacities when we had our discussion -- you merely illuminate the lack of sympathy in your participation in that discussion, which now takes on a frank aspect of duplicity. Moreover, the object of our second interview, according to what you now say, was the "confirmation" of a rejection that had not been at all affirmed in the course of the first one: you thus encouraged me to re-work a text that you had already firmly decided not to publish. Here is an analysis that, if it isn't whimsical, provides a poor image of your editorial procedures.

But I prefer to think that it was only whimsical, and as I have my part in this unfortunate slide towards unfunny whimsicality, I will not hold you to a strict account. The vehemence by which you attempt, no doubt, to compensate for your lack of clarity at the moment when it was necessary, will not prevent me from considering the following with serenity, which suits the basis of the question: I do not identify the destiny of the Spanish revolution with that if my manuscript; I only accord to your judgment the importance that it has or, rather, it would have had, if you had formulated it clearly, at the right time.

Jaime Semprun

[1] Dated 16 Januay 1977.

[2] That of Guy Debord. See Semprun's letter to Debord dated 17 December 1976.

Published in Editions Champ Libre, Correspondance, Volume I (1978). Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2006.

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