Letter to the editor of Combat


Because of the article entitled "The Centenary of Charleville" (Combat, 21 October [1954]), we communicate to you the following specifications:

There have not been "differences" between surrealists and lettrists concerning the scandal of Charleville [birthplace of Arthur Rimbaud]. Simply a late defection by the surrealists as a whole, and the denial made by certain among them concerning their signatures, which had previously been affixed to a Marxist text.

We do not desire to play the role of entertainer in the solemnities, literary or otherwise, of this regime. Surrealism has already exploited this vein too much. We no longer relish the charms of the inoffensive scandal. To that extent, it is necessary to agree that we have "forgotten Rimbaud."

The author of this article ["The Centenary of Charleville"] advises that his readers "cry loudly, scream, storm" at us, who are "kill-joys [trouble-fetes] who admire themselves too much."

The festival [fete] continues, and one day we are sure to participate in its most serious interruption.

21 October 1954
For the Lettrist International

(Published in Potlatch #13, October 1954. Translated from the French by NOT BORED!)

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