from Guy Debord

To Jean-Pierre Baudet
10 August 1985
Dear Jean-Pierre:

Jeff[1] has shown me your letter to Floriana [Lebovici] dated 22 July, which still hasn't been sent to me. Your objections[2] are very just: which is pleasing and gives me great confidence concerning the totality of the problems of translation.

1) By citing the remarkable character of Azev in 1979, simply from memory, I unfortunately forgot a part of the veritable conditions of his activity. During a more recent reading of Savinkov's Memoirs,[3] I remarked that he had not managed to achieve the elimination of Stolypin. The role of the translator must be to improve the text each time this is possible. Thus I propose that I wrote: ". . . push mastery to the point of personally planning (programming) the assassination of Prime Minister Stolypin."[4] (I am even more struck today by the point at which Stolypin, like [Aldo] Moro [many years] later, was condemned by the enraged Czarists who so dreaded the reformist possibilities that they stupidly attributed to him that, in sum, they preferred Lenin.)

2) As for the S.I.M.,[5] it is even simpler, and [Paolo] Salvadori, while translating the preface into Italian, already remarked it to me. I had only noted the coincidence of the acronym, which was truly curious, and I had so little respect for the "theoretical thinking" of the Red Brigade (it is of course intentionally that I still write the name in the singular) that I was mistaken in noting the supposed meaning of its central pseudo-concept. It was actually a question of the Stato Imperialiste des Multinationals, and this one must make clear in the German translation.

Desiring the best success for you and long life for Clausewitz,[6] who is so much more important, I send you my thanks and best wishes.


[1] Jean-Francois Martos.

[2] Objections to certain remarks in Debord's "Preface to the 4th Italian Edition of The Society of the Spectacle," published in 1979.

[3] Boris Savinkov (1879-1925), a leader of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party in Russia.

[4] Debord wrote in 1979: ". . . carried mastery to the point of instigating the assassination of Stolypin" (emphasis added).

[5] The Military Intelligence Service under Mussolini.

[6] Jean-Pierre Baudet translated Clausewitz's Vom Kriege into French.

(Translated from the French by NOT BORED! October 2008.)

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