from Guy Debord

To Jean-Francois Martos
10 February 1982
Dear Jeff:

I have received your poster,[1] which is very good. It is the first time since 13 December [1981] that I have read a truthful declaration on the repression in Poland, and I am happy that it comes from you. Never has the massive spectacular lie gone as far with respect to the facts and their possible interpretations, and never has it so tranquilly left one to perceive the naked reality and the real interests of the falsifiers in their solidarity. It is worse in France than elsewhere, but still universal, because at bottom -- which this time is close to the surface -- all the powers want the Polish workers to die as soon as possible and before one has been forced to say too much about them, even with the most respectful approval of the essential, which subsequently risks making several nuances in favor of Wajda or someone else. On the third day [of the crackdown], El Pais -- proudly forgetting the situation in Spain for the last eleven months -- headlined their coverage with sorrowful disdain: "Weak resistance to the military coup." Your detournement of Ubu[2] is magnificent, and I believe that in all respects this phrase merits being the historical summarization of this entire period.

I was going to write you. Michel [Prigent] passed several days here. He especially spoke to me of the majority of the people whom his has had the misfortune to know in Paris -- or perhaps with a certain pleasure? I believe that the laughable times of Arthur [Marchadier] have returned, in so far as this poor group resembles him in their envious incapacity, [and] a certain brilliance. It is thus quite useless that these people disapprove of him more or less clearly: they are not worthy of disapproving of him.

Neither Spain nor Poland interest any of these voyeurs and secondhand dealers in rumors, who are only impassioned about what took place in Italy before 1978 and especially about the mystery of the Doge.[3] The pilgrimage to Figline[4] yielded strange dogmas: that it would be inconvenient to speak of the Doge, because Gianfranco [Sanguinetti] broke with him two years ago (but why then?) and because this would be a question that only could be debated between him and I (fuck no! as for me, in any case, I am not mixed up in this affair and I have been uninterested in it since I last set foot in Italy, five years ago). One also respectfully cited the remark of a Spanish revolutionary, whose identity or group affiliation was not revealed, who found the appeal of 1980 to be "romantic" (without appearing to be surprised that a Spanish "revolutionary" could only find this one thing to say about the entirety of this text[5]). One reports to me quite joyously I do not how many other idiocies of this type, each perhaps summarized with malevolence upon each passage from one mouth to another in this communal grave of the acceptance of everything, as if such nonsense would unnerve me. An historical error: one could only unnerve me once concerning Barcelona, and the time for that has passed.

One also tells me that you are completely isolated from this milieu and that, in sum, it is quite difficult to be deprived of the aid of such honest commentators. On the contrary, I think that it is a rare advantage for you to have succeeded in clearly remaining on the outside of such a cesspool.

Portugal is a poor country, and no doubt was so a long time before Salazar. The revolution passed through here like the rain in the Causses, without leaving any traces. From the pseudo-language to the sad customs, one sees quickly that Portugal has truly not been successful in making itself the pure contrary of Spain over the course of the last three centuries. Thus, he who loves Spain will not be pleased with Portugal.

Have you received Miguel's pamphlet?[6] If not, I can send you a copy.

If you see a follow-up to the enterprise undertaken by the weirdo who wrote the pseudo-Protest,[7] tell me. Otherwise, following your advice, I will let it go without response.

Albaric[8] has communicated to us your salutes and best wishes. We hope for you a year that is better than 1981, which does not appear too difficult, given what 1981 was like.

Best wishes to Etiennette and you, hoping to see you [both] soon.

[1] It is on us that they fire in Warsaw (December 1981).

[2] "The scene takes place in Poland, that is to say, everywhere." [Translator's note: in Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, the stage direction said: "The scene takes in Poland, that is to say, nowhere."]

[3] Translator's note: Aliberti Mignoli, Gianfranco Sanguinetti's attorney.

[4] Gianfranco Sanguinetti's home in Tuscany.

[5] Appeals from the prison in Segovia.

[6] Pamphlet in Spanish, dated November 1981 (Revelations concerning the decomposition process of the Spanish State and the appropriate methods to remedy it).

[7] Protest to the libertarians of the present and the future on the capitulations of 1980, signed by an "Uncontrollable."

[8] Michel Albaric.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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