from Guy Debord

To Annie Le Brun
9 October 1992
Dear Annie:

Obviously we must continue our dialogue as soon as possible. So much disordered haste in the passage from one detail to another guarantees the truth of the unity that one feels in the details, when they ring true; but it also guarantees -- with respect to all or almost all of them -- that there remains much more to say. Thus, it is a very somber menace that we felt, once again, when we learned about Radovan's accident just a few days after our happy get together. After your departure, I recalled that we had once spoken of the poetry that bears the name of a saint named Apollinaire, and that Dubrovnik often evokes none other than Raguse, and Marshal Marmont was the Duke of Raguse, which enriched the French verb raguser,[1] the disappearance of which I have deplored without making the connection.

Your praise for our "way of thinking" -- we are quite close to having the same one -- is enlarged by the admirable shadow that is evoked by this expression, at least when you use it.

The rigorous book by Paul Garde[2] confirms at length the summary of the shipwreck of Yugoslavia, the prelude to so many others, that Radovan [Ivsic] sketched out for us. All of my fresh information about the country comes from two sources. I know only that the world must to the Croats make the haunting vestimentary sign[3] of the bourgeois world of the last two centuries, through the mediation of a regiment of light cavalry paid for by Louis XIV; and I know a little about the Battle of Kosovo and the 1914-1915 campaign of the Serbian army; and I remember the excessive idea according to which Asia begins at Vienna's eastern outskirts (all recollections of this region of the world appear to be military).

The disproportion between the end and the means no doubt very often pleases me as a challenge, as a "depraved perspective."[4] The means that I have encountered have always been quasi-nonexistent. But I believe that what has appeared to me to be as the truly most difficulty thing is finding the ends to which I can attribute importance. "The only free word . . ." I have been able to say it as one has said it in my presence. This has not been a somber indifference [on my part]. I have immensely preferred other people, places and moments; and most often I have been quite cheerful.[5] But, in the end, this isn't what one calls having goals in life. Perhaps this is what has led me to develop my strategic capabilities. It is also a form of global thought, which isn't common. The results allow one to see where one is truly going. Furthermore, I can say that I have not sought to maintain a personal advantage: not due to some kind of nobleness, but because I have really been hardly capable of understanding what the advantage here could be (excepting the period in which I played poker, or led similar operations). I will cite for you an affair, in Spain,[6] that could be regarded as the "unknown masterpiece" of this game of disproportion.[7]

Georges Goldfayn[8] has written me a note, and I have responded to him. I am happy that this dialogue has been renewed, after thirty-six years. We are loyal people.

A little to the right of the route by which one descends towards the Loire, they claim to have recently discovered the oldest construction in Western Europe. This is an ambition that isn't mediocre!

Remind Radovan that, according to me, he must write several brief "conclusions" about the last days of Andre Breton, which would be as simple and beautiful as what he recounted to us in Champot.

We embrace you.

[1] "to betray," by way of allusion to the betrayal by Marshal Marmont, who became the Duke of Raguse after the capitulation of the ephemeral Republic of Raguse, under French protection from 1806-1808.

[2] Vie et mort de la Yougoslavie.

[3] The tie.

[4] Title of a book by Annie Le Brun.

[5] Translator's note: the word used here, gai, can also mean "tipsy."

[6] "To Libertarians," September 1980.

[7] Translator's note: the disproportion between the means (one talented man) and the ends (the results of his efforts).

[8] Translator's note: Georges Goldfayn was a surrealist, writer and filmmaker in the 1950s.

(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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