from Guy Debord

To Hervé Falcou
Monday morning [February 1953]
My dear Hervé,

I left Paris this evening with the intention of passing around 3-4 months in Cannes to recover from a certain physio-moral exhaustion to which all the experiences of the recent past have led me.

I hope that things go better for you.

Waiting, and authorizing myself on the basis of our most recent conversations and your letter, I have placed my signature on our tract,[1] copies of which I will send you as soon as possible.

Of the twelve signatories, two are in prison; two underage girls are sought; another [signer] is provisionally free on drug trafficking charges; Brau and his wife[2] are traveling in Algeria – with the result that, in the very improbable case of police problems, everyone can refuse to acknowledge their signatures, which had been set down without preliminary consultation and only due to a general participation in the modern spirit.

Those responsible are Jean-Michel Mension,[3] [Gil] Wolman, and myself.

I believe that the tract is very good as an indication of a transitory stage in our intellectual agitation.

If you want to make contact with the lettrists stationed in Paris at this moment, you know where to join them. But I believe that all this action will be dormant for the next several months; and I have told them that you were traveling, seeking to recover from your famous fall in Austria.

I hope that we will see each other this summer (I will return [to Paris] around June, and perhaps I will pass the summer months in Cannes but only if it is with certain people and not my parents). I would love it if you wrote me, if you have the courage – Villa Meteko, avenue Isola-Bella, Cannes.

I know that I will have much empty time down there, but it seems necessary to me. I am close to a total breakdown, nervous, principally. The uninterrupted drinking and many other diversions complete my always singularly agitated, metaphysical difficulties.

But it seems to me – not all the time – that we are not ripe for suicide, and that there are multitudes of things to do, if one surmounts certain barriers AND WITHOUT RENOUNCING ANYTHING of the scorn or the refusals that we have sincerely affirmed with respect to almost everything.

We have been enfants terribles. If we reach “the age of man,” we will be dangerous men.

This morning I went by le pont Mirabeau. The prestige of Guillaume[4] runs a little like this current of water (he remains in it), but I remember having met you one day on that bridge, which is thus justified in claiming a new historical youth.

[The line is] “We were these cheerful terrorists,” isn’t it?[5] By chance, yesterday I read in a [text by Blaise] Cendrars the PROSE OF THE TRANS-SIBERIAN and it is still very beautiful – but in a Bichetouse manner.[6]

The other day a lettrist expedition prevented the projection of an “illettrist” pseudo-film [entitled] THE SADISTIC SKELETON (by a so-called Rene-Guy Babord)[7] at the “Friends of the Cinema” cine-club. The row was very droll. We took the director hostage and, under threats, forced him to send away the cops that he’d sought out.

Thus I hope to hear from you here in Cannes and in a future of shared struggles, comrade.[8]

Very amicably,

[1] Manifesto (Internationale Lettriste #2 February 1953), reproduced in Guy Debord, Oeuvres, Quarto edition, Gallimard, 2006, p.95.

[2] Members of the Lettrist International. [They had first names: Jean-Louis Brau and Eliane Brau.]

[3] Translator: see Mension’s book The Tribe.

[4] Appolinaire.

[5] Translator: a line by André Breton.

[6] Argotic neologism. [Possibly a reference to Robert Bichet, who in 1953 was the designer of the flag of the European Union.]

[7] Translator: a burlesque of Guy-Ernest Debord’s film, Hurlements en faveur de Sade, released in 1952.

[8] Hervé Falcou would not be associated with these struggles.

(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! February 2011. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted. Thanks to Ian Curtis for correcting a major error, October 2018.)

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