from Guy Debord

To Gil J Wolman
Wednesday afternoon [7 September 1955]
My dear Gil:

Can you come by Tonnal[1] on Saturday evening at 8 pm?

Object of debate: redaction of a vivid protest to the Times of London,[2] which has announced the forthcoming destruction of the Chinese neighborhood of that city – known under the name Limehouse. The admirable den of all kinds of Fu Manchus.

If you aren’t free, tell me by then.

Potlatch #22 will be sent out tomorrow.

I have finally made it to the Huma festival,[3] Saturday evening quite late. Quite nice possibilities for drifting – along Lenin Avenue, which begins almost everywhere,[4] loudspeakers proclaimed, “Comrades! Drink a glass [of sparkling wine] against the repression in Algeria” or “Eat sauerkraut for the metalworkers of Nantes” and even “Drink vodka from Moscow – 80 frans a glass, for relaxation . . .” and similar things.

We ended up at several very vague places lost in little copses of trees and called “Unity,” “Karl Marx,” etc.

But there was also the customary iconography, the picture of Maurice[5] everywhere – idiotic songs, unbelievable folklore, communists from Auvergne dressed as Auvergnois, those from Brest as Bretons, and so on. Louis XVI couldn’t have wished for better.

Raised upon a bookstore stall, in enormous letters, there was a phrase from Lenin sadly judging the fair: WITHOUT REVOLUTIONARY THEORY, NO REVOLUTIONARY ACTION. We alone laughed.

Midhou[6] indicates that for some time now Jean-Isidore [Isou] has been going to the “Bonaparte” to read his newspaper, the atmosphere sad and forsaken. Regression to childhood. At least there won’t be a long wait for the type of chase that he values so much.

Pomerand,[7] poor fellow, is to write about that whore Cecile Laurent-Labattue[8] in La Parisienne. Yes, indeed.

(The youth, the cry, terrorism, the avant-garde, the insult, the challenge – “the extreme point of the combat that each awakening proposes to us when it involves us in the traps of life,” as St. Ghetto des Prés says.)

Do you know Fu Manchu? All the books by his inventor, Sax Rohmer, are to be read.

All power to the lettrist soviets!

Best wishes,

[1] Le Tonneau d’or [The Golden Cask], 32 rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Genevieve, a bar run by Charles Guglielmetti, nicknamed Chartal du Tonnal, served as the permanent hangout of the Lettrist International.

[2] Cf. Potlatch #23.

[3] Annual festival organized by the [Communist] newspaper, L’Humanité.

[4] Translator: a reference to a work by Wolman.

[5] Maurice Thorez, Secretary of the French Communist Party.

[6] Translator: Mohamed Dahou, a member of the Lettrist International.

[7] Gabriel Pomerand (1925-1972), a lettrist and the author of Saint Ghetto des Prés (1950).

[8] Jacques Laurent, alias Cecil Saint-Laurent, founder of La Parisienne.

(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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