Champ Libre to Julien Loiseau
4 August 1980

I’ve read your manuscript. I can only say that you are, of course, a joker. But do not believe that I’ve concluded this due to an attachment to some outdated scientific theory in a domain where I would be incompetent or due to outraged support for Einstein’s thought.

If one can say that the solar system is a kind of organic unity, one can assuredly say the same thing about a book when one knows [about such things]. An immediately scientific observation of your book has shown me its method of composition.

I certainly do not intend to support the risky hypothesis that all publishers know how to read. And your opus could constitute a very good joke if it were to be published by a cretinous publisher. And since this is not possible at Champ Libre, I advise you to confidently try somewhere [else] in the wide spectrum that runs from Maspero to Editions Alternatives, and from Encre to Editions Nexialistes.

Quite sincerely,
Gérard Lebovici

Julien Loiseau to Gérard Lebovici
26 August, returning from vacation

There’s little I can do with your advice concerning which publisher I am now supposed to address myself to. You went through tem too quickly and you didn’t make clear with each one whether it would be necessary or even possible [to contact them]. And in fact you have at your disposal an effective dissuasive tool that won’t fail you if used on rope or even meat.

If the woman who welcomed me at Editions Champ Libre informed you correctly [of what I said], you would know that I declared this to her: “If you will not publish me, I must no doubt publish myself.” Your scornful advice to address myself to a “cretinous publisher” hit home.

I can see that you easily make use of scorn, believing that you are imitating the great Debord. You don’t have his eloquence or his writing style. You also don’t have his clairvoyance and, to let it all out, you have never founded an International.

And if you truly know how to read, as you want people to think, you will find out that, if Debord often uses insults, he never uses scorn, neither upon his enemies nor upon some [poor] guy.

You, you ghostly person, you’ve only learned trickery from this prodigy. And of his radicalism, there only remains his spectacle, that is to say, your terrorism.

You treat me like I am a joker. But if one counts on insulting people, one must at least make the blow land. Since I am not in the habit of beating around the bush, I will only say that you’re a cunt. Because at bottom, who could prevent you – a publisher too enamored of his own mission – from publishing a farcical theory? To joke about life, about the life that they lead, the proles haven’t waited for you and they do not refrain from laughing – they who have several reasons for complaining.

And you do not find that buying things like Saint Malo memorial plates and telephones made of flower-decorated wood (made in Spain[1]) is funny! You are deceived. It is a simple matter of taste.

To return to theory: “Great examples are the best lesson, but nothing is worse than theoretical prejudices that interpose themselves, because the rays from the sun are themselves broken and tinted by the fog. Destroy these prejudices, which at certain times spread like foul odors: such is the most urgent duty of theory, because only human reason can destroy human reason’s erroneous products” (Clausewitz).

My theory is very serious in this regard, only you haven’t understood it at all.

All theories want to be more or less scientific, but mine even less so than another, as I explained quite well by quoting Kepler. The numbers are only there to help perception, in the same fashion that sight always more or less measures the dimensions of an object before constructing a clear image of it. Thus it was useless to tell me of your scientific incompetence, especially to then say that an immediately scientific observation (what is this monster?) allowed you (phew!) to grasp my method of composition. But can you grasp the entire series of circumstances, encounters and confrontations that have been my life for several years and that my famous mode of composition is the exact reflection of? No, you cannot, for the good reason that this series does not exist. Ever since I was 17, I have always pissed off the scum, and this has been sufficient.

It would astonish me if you published this letter in volume 2 of your “Correspondence,” a volume that the global proletariat will certainly expect to see. At least you cannot make me an actor in your show, and you must leave your readers contented with something more insipid.

If you do take this step, I will, for my part, do everything to get it read by a maximum number of people.

Julien Loiseau

[1] English in original.

(Published in Editions Champ Libre, Correspondance, Vol. 2, Editions Champ Libre, Paris, 1981. Translated from the French and footnoted by NOT BORED! August 2012.)

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