Announcement sent to Gérard Lebovici by Renaud Séchan[1]

Dominique and Renaud Séchan present LOLITA, 9 August 1980.

No was deceived by it: when Dominique and Renaud were married in secret,[2] tranquilly comfortable, on 1 August 1980, everyone smelled shenanigans. At the town hall, a reporter with a gleaming face, the type of guy from whom you never buy a car, had occasion to declare: “This marriage is very shady! It is my opinion that someone is hiding something from us, yes! For sure!”

On 9 August 1980, at precisely noon, exactly eight days later, from this union was born LOLITA, Salomé, Floriana.

It was Holy Love, it was beautiful, and the world did not know that the 2 KG 980 rebel seed came from pushing.

This will turn out very badly. . . .

[1] In the style of an advertisement.

[2] The French here, en lousdé, is argot.

Champ Libre to Renaud Séchan
11 September 1980

I’ve just noted the birth of your daughter and sincerely congratulate you, despite the dubious taste of your advertising announcement.

I am not surprised that you no longer have the [good] taste and style that you displayed in your songs a short time ago. I sensed something weak and artificial in you from the moment you refused to write a song in favor of Mesrine[1] when he was still hunted, and even his death did not change [ému] your indifference.

Upon publication of your book by Champ Libre,[2] my impression was completely confirmed by the baseness of the interview that you gave to Nouvelles Littéraires, and you know quite well that, since then, I have had to constantly respond to your many requests [by saying] that I cannot see you.

Since then, you have merited the contempt of many, much less demanding people than me by responding so prudently and humbly when Stalinists have attacked you, instead of simply saying that one can only be proud to be viewed negatively by Stalinist bastards. I suppose that this was done so as to not displease your friend Coluche,[3] whom you love more than your public, because you find him good enough for you.

When I proposed to bring together the lyrics of your songs into a book, you right away responded – modestly, as you always do with all the cunts from the newspapers – that perhaps you were not worthy of being published by Champ Libre. What’s happened since then shows that, on this point, you were right.

Therefore you must forget about me, send the announcements of the births of your children to the people concerned, and admit the obvious fact that the Stalinist liars are fortunately not the only ones to say to you: “We were not from the same camp.”[4]

Gérard Lebovici

[1] Jacques Mesrine, infamous French bank robber and author, murdered by the police on 2 November 1979.

[2] Sans Zikmu (January 1980). The text was proofread by Guy Debord. See Debord’s letter to Lebovici dated 12 November 1979. On the back cover of this book, the following text (quite possibly written by Debord) was printed:

Born in 1952, Renaud Séchan is without doubt the only songwriter who, starting in 1968, has tried to express the revolt of a rebellious generation.

Scorning the moronic methods of show business [English in original], he has known – thanks to the quality of his lyrics and his talent as an interpreter of other people’s songs – how to rediscover the tradition of the French worker’s song, from Sylvain Maréchal to Mac Nab, from Jean-Baptiste Clément to Bruant.

He is currently the only one to have conquered the audience of wild youths: from the nihilist children of the neo-colleges to young proletarians. These youths who quite justly no longer place their trust in anyone, have placed their trust in him, due to what he says (“Society, you won’t get me”).

Success of this kind is most often a harbinger of civil war (“We were not from the same camp, goodbye pussycat”). This rare quality has led Renaud Séchan to the point at which it will be necessary for him to definitively drive the servants of the spectacle to despair by being (with always greater consequence) the voice of those who still don’t have a voice, or disappoint his admirable audience.

Thus Champ Libre has assembled the lyrics that Renaud Séchan has written and sung over the years.

[3] Michel Gérard Joseph Colucci (1944-1986), a French humorist and actor.

[4] A quotation from the chorus of Renaud’s song “Adieux minette” (1976).

Renaud Séchan to Champ Libre
7 October 1980
Great cunt,

For a long time I’ve expected to receive one of the insulting letters in which you excel, and which permit you to imagine yourself to be a writer. I respond to it after a delay, sad unfortunate bureaucrat, [because] my job can’t wait, your fuckery is so [great].

You great cunt, your letter disappointed me a little. You should have been able to find more striking arguments to justify your contempt. I know that you have no sense of humor, and the fact that you didn’t appreciate my announcement hardly surprises me. On the other hand, I have found no trace in my archives of any interview given to Nouvelles Littéraires, but simply an article that is devoted to me, the content and quotations of which – a bit stupid, it is true – only implicate the writer who wrote them. On the other hand, I could send you several press clippings that would edify you concerning the fuckery of the remarks that occur to me during interviews. I am not a theoretician, a philosopher or a good orator, and I don’t have your eloquence or your ability to shit on our contemporaries, Stalinist or not.

On the other hand, I’ve had the [good] luck to write songs that have (here I quote you) “conquered the audience of wild youths,” and these youths are loyal to me. But if I sometimes conduct myself maladroitly, making too many concessions to the media, my “admirable audience” is more and more numerous, and, if it should know about you, you great cunt, it would quickly think that it is you, sad socialite bureaucrat, who is unworthy of publishing my lyrics. These wild youths whom you do not know, these young proletarians that you do not spend time with, these children of Mesrine who hum my songs in their prisons when I do not want to sing to them, and even the “nihilistic children of the neo-colleges” – all of them shit in your mouth.

Finally, you great cunt, know that I have never written a song on demand; that no one ever dictates to me what would be good or bad for me to write. The song about Mesrine that you reproach me for not writing at the time, as you seemed to demand, despot – know that I’ve written it since then, when I had the desire, the possibility, [and] the inspiration to do so. It will appear on my next record.[1] I will recall to you that the preceding one[2] was dedicated to Paul Toul, the last pseudonym that Mesrine used, at a time when your courage was limited to interminable discussions about him in your salons.[3]

Keep up to date, great cunt, instead of burying yourself in your sinister offices and giving orders to your brassy blonde to pretend to me that you are not there. You have no balls, Lebo, and so forget about me quickly and do not send me one of your poor, shitty letters or you will certainly taste [right] in your dirty face several pairs of cowboy boots[4] with sharp points that won’t be weak or artificial.

Since you have visibly become the sub-shit that you were essentially, my public, my chick,[5] my child and I spit in your face.

Goodbye great cunt.

Renaud Séchan

[1] No such song appeared on Le Retour de Gérard Lambert, which was released in 1981, nor on any subsequent recording by Séchan.

[2] Marche à l’ombre, released in January 1979.

[3] In point of fact, in the wake of Jacques Mesrine’s murder on 2 November 1979, the Lebovici family adopted his daughter, Sabrina Mesrine, then 18 years old.

[4] Publisher’s note: by making it known that he would risk his blood rather than receive other hurtful truths, Mr. Séchan seemed to insinuate that our letter of 11 September perhaps did not say everything [that needed to be said] about him. We think that impartial readers will, on the contrary, feel that it was complete and definitive.

[5] Ma Gonzesse, which was also the title of the album Séchan released in January 1979.

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

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