from Guy Debord

To Jean-Jacques Pauvert
Thursday, 14 November 1991
Dear Jean-Jacques:

Yesterday I finally received your letter of the 9th. I will respond to you right away on several urgent points. I will write the rest down tomorrow, and I will also send you the books. One can estimate that you will receive this note on Monday the 18th (you will of course correct my opinions where made necessary by the "inquest"[1] that you mentioned in your telegram of the 12th).

Concerning the proceeding, I also incline towards a fixed date, for the same reasons that you mention. And, furthermore, more generally, I leave to you the care of directing our entire legal strategy (cf. copy of my second letter to Madame Deluc).[2]

I think as you do about Gallimard: it is already quite late. You must discuss nothing with the subalterns: Cremisi,[3] that poor buffoon Sollers,[4] etc. It seems that Antoine himself, officially the one in charge, has reiterated his blunder of 1969,[5] and the century will end without giving him a new occasion to re-offend. He commits a quite extraordinary indelicacy towards you. He doesn't realize -- or wants to pretend -- that it is uniquely because you spoke of me to him that I have left to him [Antoine Gallimard] the liberty of fixing his proposition (on his own and right away), to which I would simply respond yes or no. I haven't even responded, obviously, to the advances of burlesque Mauries, [Phillipe] Sollers, etc. And I do not want to discuss anything with the one in charge. Therefore, any hesitations, interventions and added-on nuances made by the collaborators will in fact be the equivalent of [direct] discussions. You can conclude by saying to him that I was shocked to learn that a publisher could be "so stupid and unfortunate"[6] as to allow himself to recount that I could have associated with someone like Sollers (and why not Mao, Castro and Gorbachev?)

Nothing very unexpected if the press confesses to us very similar sentiments. We weren't made to have the esteem of the world -- but its admiration, which especially creates enemies. Two more remarkable details in the clippings that I have sent you: 1) Le Monde,[7] which says that I have written under so many pseudonyms that, this time, I have been surprising by choosing to use my real name as a pseudonym -- whereas all of this lying, specialized crowd knows quite well that I have never written a single text under a pseudonym, and this precisely because I have challenged the disinformers to name a single one! 2) My ranking among the "intellectual powers" by L'evenement du jeudi,[8] since it places me above many omnipresent "mediatics,"[9] while I am one of the very few non-mediatics on the list, and even the only frankly anti-mediatic on it.

We will be happy to see you again in Champot this Christmas; hoping that this time your stay will be less brief.

In friendship,
Guy Debord

P.S. While Alice was typing up this letter, I heard a banal debate on France-Culture among Sollers and others of the same genre. In it, they deplored the fact that the great values of writing, with which one still tires our ears, are all dead: a long list indeed proves it so. Someone wisely rejoins: "Debord." Sollers says "Debord." A third says it, too. An idiot, whose first name was Isabelle, awkwardly and with a kind of impatience says about me: "Yes, Debord, is still alive -- until now . . ." Being less sensible to threats due to habit, I confess to you that I find something a little tiring in becoming a classic so quickly. . . . But make the best of this questionable situation.

[1] Concerning Antoine Gallimard.

[2] Translator's note: "I ask you to undertake all that Jean-Jacques Pauvert counsels for the remainder of this affair." Letter dated 8 November 1991.

[3] Teresa Cremisi, collaborator with Antoine Gallimard.

[4] Translator's note: Phillipe Sollers.

[5] Translator's note: asserting that back in 1969 "all the situs," including Guy Debord, wanted to be published by Gallimard.

[6] Translator's note: quoting from letter to Claude Gaillimard dated 16 January 1969.

[7] Le Monde, 22 July 1988 (cf. "Cette Mauvaise Reputation . . ." Editions Gallimard, pp. 25-26).

[8] Issue dated 2-8 February 1989. [Translator: ironically, Guy Debord published his appeal for a literary agent in L'evenement du jeudi, among other odd places. See letter dated 25 February 1991.

[9] Translator's note: there is no adequate equivalent in English for mediatique, which refers to people who either work for or appear in the media, but also suggests the spectacular.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2009. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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