Declaration of Editions Champ Libre

The authors published by Editions Champ Libre are astonished to find out that, sometimes, a journalist still claims to "review" one of their books; or even, what is worse, dares to confer upon one of them a kind of arbitrary approval so as to create a glorious air of familiarity, which nevertheless can only simulate by this mediation a pseudo-reading of the text. The current authors for Editions Champ Libre, quite obviously regard "intellectual workers" of today's press, with any exception, as being notoriously deprived of intelligence and the resumption of truthfulness that would be required for them to give their opinion on these texts. The professionals in falsification and duping people seems to forget that they are, due to their function, deprived of the right to praise, even in a single detail, something that is true. Such illusions must cease, and thus these people must shut their mouths.

Editions Champ Libre declares that they cannot be held responsible in any degree for these practices, in the cases in which it is necessary to deplore their persistence. Indeed, Editions Champ Libre have ceased to address complimentary copies[1] of its books to all journalists and newspapers: considering that this tradition of objective information no longer has any reason to be maintained, outliving any significance, in an era in which the appearance of a free press no longer exists; that is to say, it abstains from submitting to a single one of the dominant impostures. Editions Champ Libre has thus ceased to recognize the existence of the press. Those who already have no access to "interviews"[2] have also been deprived of texts.

Consequently, all journalists who, in this period, continue to write about books published by Champ Libre, or do so in the future, will necessarily have to buy a copy just like any member of the public. Thus, his quality as a professional critic no longer being recognized by the publisher and already scorned by its authors, his intervention will be considered in all cases as completely abusive.

This is the occasion for Editions Champ Libre to say that it recognizes all of its principles summarized in the statement that one of its old authors, Clausewitz,[3] published at the time that his country sought comfort in servitude and two years before the collapse of the domination that then appeared so well established: "I declare and affirm to the world and the generations to come that I hold false prudence, by which the limited spirits claim to escape from danger, to be the most pernicious thing that inspires fear and terror in us; (...) that the vertigo of fear of our times does not make me forget the warnings of the distant and recent past, the lessons of wisdom of entire centuries, [and] the noble examples of celebrated peoples, and that I will not renounce universal history for some sheet from a lying newspaper."

[1] The French here is services de presse.

[2] English in original.

[3] Champ Libre published three books by Carl von Clausewitz: The Campaign of 1814 (1972), The Campaign of 1815 in France (1973), and Notes on Prussia in its Great Catastrophe (1976).

(Unsigned, but probably written by Gerard Lebovici. Published in Editions Champ Libre, Catalogue for 1979, March 1979. Reprinted in Editions Champ Libre, Correspondance, Volume 3, Le fin mot de l'Histoire, Paris 1995. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! July 2007. Footnotes by the translator.)

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