from Guy Debord

To Michel Bounan
15 May 1993
Dear Michel:

I believe that you have understood the reason for the anger where I am concerned:[1] they discover with horror that I am in no way "devoted" or sacrificed (at my own peril) to the unhealthy pleasure of proving to them that they were wrong. I have not claimed to have been virtuous. I have very generally done what has suited me the best, and I wonder what compensation they believed that one would merit for having refused to drink the cyanide.[2]

The journal[3] that you sent me says everything [there is to say] about AIDS and cancer. The progress among the scientists over the last two or three years has been immense. Nevertheless, they say, with haughty pride, that they will do nothing, because "it mustn't be a question of rejecting the technological progress of our society." Who pays them? One can admire the sublime find that is "nihilist ecology" (that which rejects technological progress). When the economy itself has become nihilistic?

From the clumsy contradictions and the universally embarrassed tone that I have heard on the radio these past few days, I have the impression that tuberculosis in America has mutated. Or perhaps the air-conditioning systems in the hospitals one again betray the patients who stay there, this time causing them to lose the battle. Or perhaps there is a harmonious mixture of the two.

Cordially yours,

[1] Expressed in the media on the occasion of the last two re-editions [of Guy Debord's books].

[2] Translator's note: refuse to commit "political suicide"? literal suicide?

[3] Panorama du Medecin (VIth International Symposium on Cancer, AIDS and the Environment.)

[4] Translator's note: this would appear to be Debord's last letter to his doctor, who had been treating him for a variety of illnesses and/or symptoms since 1991. Note well that in this letter, Debord does not mention his health at all. It is no longer a concern. It is possible that Debord had already or had just decided that he was going to kill himself, which of course he did on 30 November 1994.

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

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