from Guy Debord

To Jean-Francois Martos
27 July 1988
Dear Jeff:

Thank you for your letters. The "Voyerists"[1] -- they are only this, actually, and that's all there is to say -- unfortunately no longer have the lively splendor of dementia, which they attained in Situationist Failures.[2] It was necessary for them to have twenty years of reflection to write this. Or, rather, their text was written by someone else, who is no longer with them. It has again become banal and silly.

Le Monde,[3] which rejuvenates me a little with a photo from 1959 (in Munich), particularly gives me the impression of being furious because it could not avoid believing all of the annoying truths that I evoked.[4] And it implicitly affirmed all of them. I rejoice in having said less than I know. If I did not, what usage could they not put it, those who "have confidence in me" to such an excessive degree, although very secretly? The malevolence of Le Monde wants to console itself by starting a rumor about my "diverse pseudonyms, not all identified." The paper immediately "proves" this rumor by indicating that here [in Comments on the Society of the Spectacle] I have adopted "for once [my] name as a pseudonym" (my emphasis). I said so in Considerations[5] and even before that: I have never published anything under a pseudonym. Apart from several anonymous or collectively written texts, all were signed Debord. It was only for certain letters or meetings and [certain] internal debates -- where there were good reasons for only leaving discrete traces -- that I employed a very small number of pseudonym, clearly known by the comrades concerned, in each period; and a "lapsed" pseudonym was never reprised. As it is quite possible that you will become the historian who "has authority" on these questions, and as the liars will surely persist in unforeseeable inventions, I now provide for you a quick list of the totality of these pseudonyms: that is to say, any other would be subsequently invented and, likewise, any "publication" that one might vaguely evoke or that one might exhume from one knows not where, and that one might claim to be signed by one of them, will be an obvious fake.

Gondi -- in France, starting in 1965. (Colin) Decayeux -- starting at the end of 1968, in France, then in Italy (he was a friend of Villon). (Guido) Cavalcanti, starting in 1972, in Italy (he was a friend of Dante in his youth). Glaucos -- starting in 1974, in Portugal. (Juan) Pacheco -- in Spain, starting in 1980 (he was an enemy of Manrique).

I send to you an article from a journal[6] I found on la rue Saint-Sulpice, where one told me that it was the journal by (Gallimard) Pierre Nora.[7] It appeared just before my Comments [on the Society of the Spectacle]. You will remark how interesting the reasoning is: as the result of rejecting, without appeal, the "impasses of the pseudo-construction of socialism," one simply proves that the revolution is impossible. But how is it that, each time, other people have accepted one of these pseudo-constructions, or several of them, or all of them? In sum, the people at Debat would like to have it believed that one must accept the ridiculous obligation to demonstrate to them that the revolution is possible! An amusing error: it is they who would like to demonstrate that the future of their society is possible. They prefer to no longer risk themselves in it.

Do the Encyclopedists[8] still exist? One could say that their current discouragement arrives so as to convince their public that they possess no immunological defenses against critique. Their discouragement is the AIDS of avant-gardism.

See you soon.

[1] The partisans of Jean-Pierre Voyer.

[2] Echecs Situationnistes, signed by Laura Romild (Jean-Pierre Voyer?) and Jacques Vincent (Raoul Vaneigem?), published in Paris by Imprimerie de Copedith, May 1988.

[3] Note by Jean-Francois Martos: "Guy Debord, le dernier des Mohicans," 22 July 1988.

[4] Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (Editions Gerard Lebovici, May 1988).

[5] Considerations on the Assassinations of Gerard Lebovici (Editions Gerard Lebovici, March 1985).

[6] Le Debat, #50, May-August 1988.

[7] A French historian, born in 1931.

[8] The Encyclopedia of Nuisances, with whom Jean-Francois Martos and Jean-Pierre Baudet had been battling since February 1987. See the pamphlet called Encyclopedia of Powers.

(Published in Jean-Francois Martos, Correspondance avec Guy Debord, Le fin mot de l'Histoire, August 1998. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! July 2007. Footnotes by the translator, except where noted.)

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