from Guy Debord

To the editor of the Times
[Beginning of October 1955]

The Times has announced the projected demolition of the Chinese quarter of London. We rise up against such moralizing urbanism, which obviously tends to render England even more boring than it has recently become. The only spectacles that remain for us are an occasional coronation or the more frequent, but generally fruitless engagements of the young maidens of the Monarchy. The disappearance of pretty young women, [who are] from good families, as well, will become more and more rare after the effacement of the Limehouse. Do you believe that a [true] gentleman can amuse himself in Soho? So-called modern urbanism, which you recommend, is fleeting and retrograde to us. The only role of architecture is to serve the passions of people. In any case, it is unseemly to destroy the Chinese quarter of London before we have had the leisure to visit it, and to establish there the experimentation in psychogeographical research that we [generally] pursue. Finally, if modernization appears necessary to you, as it does to us, we strongly advise you to bring it to bear where it is most urgent, that is to say, your political and moral institutions.

Please, Sir, believe the assurance of our perfect consideration.

For the Lettrist International,
Michele Bernstein, Guy-Ernest Debord, Gil J Wolman

(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.)

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