from Guy Debord

To Gerard Lebovici
7 March 1975
Dear Gerard:

My firm opinion on the "Breton Dossier"[1] can be expressed in a few words: it is not absolutely necessary to publish these people -- neither their most recent comic stew [bouillie] suitable for cats, nor anything that they might scribble [scribouiller] in the future, nor anyone who resembles them.

As there are dozens of excellent reasons to throw them over, I will limit myself to a very succinct summary.

1) Champ Libre need no longer publish collections (except if there exists one or two that are manifestly justified in their real particularity, which must be, above all, well chosen and then filled well; whereas in this case neither condition is met). The "politics of collections," already unfortunate right from the start, must obviously be suppressed after the usage made of it by [Gerard] Guegan.

2) If certain collections of yours ("Strategy," for example) apparently have an interesting program, which are immediately made ridiculous by the intentions and means of their editors, I believe that nothing -- with the exception of the "Asiatic Library" -- is as adventurous as the offering of the "revolutionary regionalism" of this poor Breton band that, according to its own avowals, still has not succeeded in "making the notion of national ideology precise," but wants to make us contemplate its passionate research.

3) If one does not count titles, but pages that have been printed, the balance sheet of Champ Libre appears much less favorable, because if Gracian only needs a page to say many remarkable things, these people use up hundreds to only say two or three miserable trivialities. I believe that it is better in all respects to publish small books, except for a few, qualitatively recognizable exceptions.

4) To give a journal to these people (as Gallimard publishes the N.R.F.) would be a permanent incitation -- for all those who exist in France as sub-intellectual opportunities, but without much talent -- to constitute pseudo-organizations of the caliber that they will come to you to assert their right to publish a second, a tenth, etc., "review" of a similar quality.

These nullities already announce to you their intention to annex, at your expense, Marx and Otto Bauer, or Mattick. Also admire the haughty Gueganesque tone of the Forward that acts as a prelude to the exhaustive presentation of their barrel-scrapings, to the microscopic discussions that would constitute "the critical analysis of (their) organization" (!). They declare: "This step does not procede from a deliberate choice, but is imposed on us as a necessity. It has appeared sufficiently significant to be constituted as is: to be understood by whomever can or to save whomever can." And they present their small chicaneries as if they were disputes between the inheritors of Alexander's empire! But it is necessary to say that before gaining the power to mock the public, they first claim to mock you. What? All slightly interesting books obviously proceed from a deliberate choice, for example, the choice to let automatic writing speak in The Communicating Vessels; it is only necessary to have the capacities for such a choice. As they lack capacities, it is thus necessary to have a necessity that imposes itself. But which necessity? And who imposes himself on whom? The style of the government, the style of the O.R.T.F,[2] which takes you for a telespectator. The necessity has thus appeared to them as sufficiently "significant." Yes, but only to them. Since we can understand, they can save themselves, but only by running quickly.

I believe that you can respond to them that the era of Mr Guegan is over, since he has published his program without hesitation, and this was done somewhere else than Champ Libre, with The Irregulars.[3] And that, if he gave his "verbal agreement" to them for many things, he has since then promised even more, by writing his manifesto for a new literary school -- which can be called "the hussars of the death of the Left" -- in the 28 February issue of Le Monde. Thus, they have only to follow him to Sagittarius or any other publishing house he pollutes.

[Jean-Pierre] Voyer has had his book[4] sent to me; it presents itself very well and will truly be useful in beginning to chase away the bad odors from the preceding period.

See you soon. Best wishes,

[1] Concerning the publication of the collection "The Breton Mole," of which Champ Libre had published issues 3, 4 and 5.

[2] Translator's note: The Office de Radiodiffusion Television Francaise.

[3] Manuscript by Gerard Guegan refused by Gerard Lebovici. [Translator's note: Guegan had previously been an editor at Champ Libre and was fired along with three others in December 1974.]

[4] Introduction to the Science of Publicity.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1973-Decembre 1978 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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