from Guy Debord

To Annie Le Brun
11 May 1991
Dear Annie:

Yesterday I received your letter of the 5th, which continues so well our conversation from last week. I do not know how to tell you how much I found it moving and instructive in so many ways. We certainly have had, and for several reasons, a desire to point out the course of time. This century has led us to such harsh results that for almost ten years I have literally not met someone with whom it is possible to be understood concerning slightly difficult subjects.

You have spoken so justly of Andre Breton and with the minimum necessary critical distance on some points and even with the more necessary [element of] friendship. The sole fact of having been capable of always waiting testifies to his grandeur. I must make it precise that I have never opposed amazement and lucidity. In fact, I truly believe that I have passed nearly all of my time amazing myself. I have written little about it, that's all. These are the necessities of the struggle against what -- always more heavily -- places obstacles to my tastes, which have unfortunately led me to become a kind of expert in this kind of war. I do not even think [myself] to be someone who is very rational, and furthermore I have placed the attentive reader at least on the tracks of such a conclusion in Panegyric: it is a supplementary offense, if one measures the immense efforts that have been made by the "practical men" of our era to manage to not understand what is most important. It is only necessary to know how to love.

I enclose several more recent documents.[1] I will grant you that, no doubt due to my old conspiratorial reflexes -- Alice would say "of the dangerous classes"[2] -- I am not in the habit of evoking the perilous periods that I have had to cross. Without surprising me too much, the fact that Editions Lebovici has recently fallen (one can say) into the hands of the enemy, after several opportune disappearances,[3] and though I publicized these facts at that moment, must no doubt be understood as an intention to completely efface me. I enclose the copy of the letter that I wrote to my English translator on the very day that I met you. As you mentioned, without any irony, I am sure, the unassailable position that I have acquired in contemporary opinion due to my critique of what has become of the world -- this confirmed my impression that the operation was conducted rather clumsily, which appears to suit its nature. It seems to me that, in our first conversation, it would have been better to have spoken of freer eras, although we obviously must not avoid general considerations that, by themselves, clearly lack gaiety.

Diverse circumstances, fortunately coinciding with the delay of the usual dog days of summer, have led us to delay our departure until the end of May. Could we see each other once more before then?

With all our affection,

P.S. I thank you for the texts you sent. Janover, whose universal sourness still does not contradict itself, judges the excellent Pleiade to be as recuperating and falsifying as the Pompidou Center! Leonora[4] has written a marvel: the reasonable tone [used] to narrate such an experience -- it seems to me -- could only exist in a text in the English tradition.

[1] Including the Summary Note, to which Guy Debord added: "For Annie, because here I have dared to think, secretly, of poetry. Guy."

[2] Translator's note: a reference to Alice Becker-Ho's books about argot.

[3] Translator's note: here it appears that Debord is referring to early indications that Editions Lebovici was going to re-emerge in 1992 as Editions Ivrea.

[4] Below [En bas], by Leonora Carrington.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! February 2009. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

To Contact NOT BORED!