from Guy Debord

To Jean-Jacques Pauvert
30 September 1991
My dear publisher:

We have nearly the same senses of strategy and justice, which does not surprise me. I am not certain about how to proceed. But then one has sometimes wanted to drag me into court, even when things have gotten this far. And each time time, naturally, I have had on my side what is reasonable [le bon droit], the good cause, innocence, etc. I thoroughly believe that in "literary" matters, the best thing to do is go straight [aller droit] to re-publishing and see who protests: in favorable cases, defense is still stronger than threats.[1] Nevertheless, in the current context, my lawyer -- a certain Yves Cournot -- who troubled me slightly when he plainly tried to insinuate to me that a publisher in the process of liquidation and so badly managed previously could keep all of the [intellectual] property rights on the works that it had already published. Kafkaesque logic is never adopted without motivation. Thus, I am completely reassured if Ms. Deluc, who replaces Garcon[2] -- sufficient praise -- takes charge of what must be done, if need be.[3]

Concerning putting [books] back into circulation, I count on following your advice here as well: you are the expert in such matters. We must speak of this together soon.

I will pass this winter here [in Champot] and afterwards I will not often be in Paris, which, alas, I find more and more revolting. I have moved from the rue du Bac, a truly burned address. Thus, you must write me in Champot; the mail always follows me, wherever I go, because one can still find several loyal postal workers: they are, no doubt, more thinned-out than elsewhere, but they also disservice an extremely small population, among whom the mail carriers are even fewer in number.

You have told me that you might be able to come [here]. When you want to, and before the snow, if possible, come pass a day or two (longer, of course, if you have the time). Although isolated, the place isn't too inaccessible: the T.G.V.[4] goes from Paris to Saint-Etienne in three and a half hours; a connecting train quickly leaves for Vorey sur la Loire. There is even a small plane that twice a day travels the Orly-Loudes route, this village being the aerodrome du Puy, and even closer to my place: but one tells me that people are being disagreeably deafened there. In these two cases, a taxi would be available. Finally, one can come here by car over the highway that goes as far as Clermont-Ferrand and Issoire.

Although I find that telephone conversations are, for many reasons, worth nothing, one can always use them to relay the precise day and time. My telephone number is [...].[5]

Quite cordially,
Guy Debord

P.S. I have learned from and admired the discoveries in your Sade[6] so much -- [namely] the logical probability at the basis of the pleasure at La Coste; his real role in the [French] Revolution; the great enterprise of pornographic publishing -- that I do not know how to tell you all of the good things that I think about this book. They can be indirectly and much more briefly expressed if I transmit to you my sole reservations in their totality. They are all of a typographical nature, but they add to the already-heavy weight of the errata in Volume II. Here, too, one hopes for a prompt reprinting.

P. 166. The poet evoked here doesn't seem to be Apollinaire -- to whom Sade leads so naturally -- but Max Jacob: "Tell me what the song was . . ."

A prisoner in his prison
Sang one in Tripolitaine.
And so beautifully that, without ransom,
One gave it up to his godmother
Who wept against the wall.

P. 202. Beginning of the second paragraph, the nice mistake: "the hypothesis of a Sade . . . forced to play the fire" (change "fire" [feu] to "game" [jeu]).

P. 317, line 8: "that you remember my head" (change "head" [tete] to "birthday" [fete].

P. 421, the title Tancrede has one "r" too many.

P. 465, line 2: add space between "to support" and "during."

P. 467, at the 18th line, a really monstrous detail in the accounting of the excesses of Silling, the 8 young women have forgotten, which distorts everything. . . .

Finally, p. 631, slight mistake, because the reader will rectify it if he catches it: "soon the 22d of September 1792 (1793) will be the First Vendemiaire of the Year II."

[1] Translator's note: a classic Clauswitzian formulation.

[2] Mr. Maurive Garcon, from the Academie francaise, defender of Jean-Jacques Pauvert in 1956, during the Sade prosecution brought by the Book Commission.

[3] Translator's note: see letter to Yves Cournot dated 28 October 1991: "Concerning your observation according to which, if I was 'not satisfied with the allotment,' it would be necessary 'to say so' (to you) 'but' (you) would be 'surprised,' I can indeed communicate to you right away the response that it summons up: I beg you to transmit the dossier that concerns Lebovici-Valentine to Mrs. Marie-Christine Deluc, 46, rue de Miromesnil, Paris."

[4] Translator's note: the high-speed trains.

[5] Translator's note: ellipsis in original.

[6] Published by Editions Robert Laffont.

(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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