from Guy Debord

To Raoul Vaneigem
Monday [1 April 1963]
Dear Raoul:

I’m sending you ten copies of Internationale Situationniste #8.

Thank you for the designs. They are very beautiful. Michele [Bernstein] will write to you about the details (for your meeting with the artist).

Concerning L’Express, responding to topical things is completely out of the question, for several reasons, [and] René [Vienet] will explain some of them to you (I knew Falcou[1] a long time ago). We find that, good year [or] bad year, this type of remark is a good sign (it is the moment that the “specialists” begin to want to improve the image of their specialization, even using modern critique, by showing that they know what they have already hidden), and even, no doubt, will be positive publicity [for the SI]. Of course, it would nevertheless be good to write a text about the “signs of the times,” for publication, but with more hindsight. Concerning the theme “the laughable ways the SI has appeared in specialized cultural critique – with respect to all that has been said about it.” The other sublime example would be the special issue of Lettres nouvells (Feb ’63) that is devoted to “current aspects of intellectual and artistic activity in France” and that includes no mention of the SI. It seems to me that we must turn this into [old] history, just like Nash![2] Naturally, re-reading your letter, I find that you speak of a pamphlet “published by an honorable publisher.” Thus, I am in perfect agreement. Hindsight will be there.

Concerning hindsight, as the German texts from D.G.[3] that were sent here three days ago still haven’t arrived, I haven’t had that German person around for the last two weeks. But, after this period, I will see him again. Thus I hope that the texts will be sent at the same time, but without this demanding an excessive haste – with respect to a delayed date at first set for 25 March. If there were justice, which doesn’t exist in this world, Uwe [Lausen] would deserve exclusion if only for having placed us in this shitty situation concerning D.G. by finally refusing to do any work, after having sworn that he’d already finished half of it.

I have pushed until the end of April the publication of the mimeographed publication (which could be something like a document “On theory and the practical conditions for the elaboration of theory,” including “The SI and spontaneity,” plus two other things), because it has now become totally improbable and impossible that we publish anything before being able to announce that D.G. has finally appeared.

I hope that Attila [Kotanyi] hasn’t made any objections in principle to the solution[4] that I proposed (in any case, I am right to hope because I’ve received no response for the last ten days), and I hope that the difficulties only concern the material work. That is still [hoping for] too much. . . .

Best wishes,

[1] On 28 March 1963, Hervé Falcou published an article in L’Express entitled “In the Eyes of History,” which mockingly critiqued “marginal journals.” [One of those journals must have been Internationale Situationniste.]

[2] Translator: Jorgen Nash, excluded from the SI in 1962.

[3] Der Deutsche Gedanke. [Intended to be the SI’s German-language publication, “The German Thought” was originally supposed to be edited by Uwe Lausen, but Vaneigem had to step in and save the project.]

[4] Translator: Vaneigem and Kotanyi were to share oversight of the SI’s Bureau of Unitary Urbansim.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol "0": Septembre 1951 - Juillet 1957: Complete des "lettres retrouvees" et d l'index general des noms cites by Librairie Artheme Fayard, October 2010. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2011. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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