from Guy Debord

For Jean-Jacques Pauvert and Editions Gallimard
8 September 1992

Note on foreign translation rights

Fortunately, the question is simplified by this first assurance: almost all of my foreign publishers over the last 25 years can be considered pirates. Several others have disappeared or have at least abandoned the titles in question. I do not know the current status of Arcana, in Rome, to which [Gerard] Lebovici sold the translation of the book Oeuvres cinematographique completes in 1980. It suffices that [Antoine] Gallimard alerts them that it is to him that they must render their accounts, if they still exist.

In 1988, Editions Lebovici sold the Italian rights for The Society of the Spectacle and Comments on the Society of the Spectacle to Editions Sugarco, in Milan.

In 1989 Editions Lebovici sold the Spanish rights to Comments to Editions Anagrama in Barcelona (one must note that, due to the bad quality of the translation and especially due to an inept attempt on their part to impose the meanings and nuances of words in Catalan upon me, I will never accept another of my books being translated by this publisher). In 1990, Editions Lebovici also sold the English rights for the Comments to Verso Editorial in London.[1]

In 1991, so as to mark the end of Editions Lebovici, I myself sold the English rights to Panegyric volume I to Verso (this contract hasn't been rigorously respected since then[2] and so it can no doubt be contested: cf. my recent expose to Jean-Jacques Pauvert[3]).

Finally, I have indicated to the Japanese publisher who has proposed to publish a translation of The Society of the Spectacle that he address himself to Gallimard.

Guy Debord

[1] Translator's note: the translation that Verso eventually published in 1988 was made by Malcolm Imrie.

[2] Translator's note: apparently Verso did not furnish Debord with any copies of the English language edition of Panegyric. In the course of his letter to Jean-Jacques Pauvert dated 2 October 1992, Debord would write: "Imrie recently had the unhealthy audacity to send several press clippings to me in care of 27 de la rue Saint-Sulpice [the offices of Editions Lebovici, not Editions Gallimard]! [...] This scoundrel has thus tried to be offensive. I believe more and more that we might try to worry him, because he has not respected his contract."

[3] Translator's note: this might be a reference to the confidential note dated 27 November 1991 and entitled "Of psychology," which Debord refers to in his letter to Pauvert dated 5 January 1992.

(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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