from Guy Debord

To Ivan Chtcheglov
12 May 1963
Dear Ivan

The coincidences -- or, rather, the interlacings of the tracks on the same slope that we follow, towards the same "North-West Passage," I hope -- thus continue. The saloon and the fire that burnt it. . . .[1] It will necessary, indeed, to have centers, concretely realized. Resembling each one of us. Or others resembling moments of encounter, of what resembles us in common? The spirit of the times, which, as you note, manifests itself in L'Express (and even more in the works of the pedagogues attached to it), envelops even more things. But especially in the entirely uncontestible plagiarism of our ideas, of specific texts, one sees the same reprised in degraded form. It is always the best -- the most radical -- that has been forgotten, along with all references [to the source], of course. Conclusion: we can only impose the truth and the real scope of our "research" by the splendor of certain experiences. By "splendor," I absolutely do not want to imply vain advertising. Rather, the complete opposite.

[Patrick] Strarum? I suppose that he was always very Arnesbury Avenue [English in original]. It is I who found himself fatigued (as you did before, right?) in response to his last letter, which arrived perhaps a year ago. His Canadian evolution appears to finally reach (after a good, sudden start in 1960, marked by his nearly situationist journal) a respectful rallying around "Parisian culture" that we here [in Paris] totally despise -- he thus offers critiques of film enthusiasts, very provincial -- at the same time that he adheres to the syndicalist specializations of a crypto-Kruschevian -- a voyage to Moscow! In this endeavour, he arrives too late, not knowing that today syndicalism has as its principal function the integration of the workers into society, and that Russian "socialism" fundamentally reproduces the modes of being and the interests of this society under a rival variant. Thus Patrick has regressed in comparison to the quality of revolt in which he had engaged at the age of 18, even if it was back then accompanied by a certain facility with and confusion about ideas. Perhaps he will be, all the same, happy to receive your letters?

We really love the citations of the 1960-61 pieces.

Nomadism? It continues in a different fashion. The most recent: two Japanese delegates of the Zengakuren (the redoutable revolutionary organization of students -- which, as the result of its street battles, prevented Eisenhower from coming to Japan). En route to an international congress on Algeria, they arrived in Paris and went directly to my place (because of the most recent issue of the journal). They've camped here since then; and we discover a remarkable community of preoccupations and perspectives.

And the happy days of summer, recalling our respective childhoods.


[1] An allusion to the film Johnny Guitar.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 2, 1960-1964. Footnote by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2005.)

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