from Guy Debord

To Annie Le Brun
13 September 1991
Dear Annie:

Your vertiginous postcard[1] left me dazed. At first I believed it was a collage, a little known collaboration between Max Ernest and May Ray. But the names, the date and the idiom employed ended up convincing me that this was merely a circus stunt, made futuristic by the altitude from the ground. But isn't this also a faithful representation of the ideas and methods that -- the altimeter hasn't ceased to show -- have since then selected and developed the entirety of the progress of our era of simulation? Could one display any better such a conception of the exploit, the game, the search for pleasure and, no doubt, dialogue as well?

[Jean-Jacques] Pauvert has sent me [a copy of] his Living Sade, in which one encounters you everywhere, and in which the "manner of thinking" of which you have established the coherence is obviously confirmed by the [factual] cross-checking of the exemplary adventures of the irreducible "Citizen." What embellishes the potlatch even further is that Pauvert has written to me that he thinks he has found the solution to my difficulties with censorship. I think that I must also thank you, too, where this matter is concerned. As I have told you before, I have not met anyone else, for a long time, with whom a trusting conversation is possible; and this comes at a moment in which the adversarial side has judged that one could profit from my luxurious excess of "isolationism" (I have just learned that this word [isolisme] was coined by Sade).

I rejoice that "the trick of the bloody cloth" has come to the East, not only as a brilliant end to such an old quarrel -- it is quite late and the infection has become widespread -- but also because I see in it the irreversible dislocation of a world that only has a chance of lasting by being unified in oppression over the entire surface of the earth, as well as in all of the mendacious details of what exists consensually.

I can now add another kind of proof, easier to communicate, of what I said to you concerning the false portrait of Lautremont.[2] I believe the image to be improbable for the nearly sufficient reason that -- among other revealing signs in the language used -- it is clearly the head of a young man who, following the imperatives of an imbecile, most looks like the kind expected for Isidore Ducasse among the 50 or 1,000 photographs from the era that are collected (or not) in the Basco-Bearnaise[3] archives. I don't have the book by these forgers, but I believe I remember that a cynical wag feigned to regret that Mendez Margarino had just died, before his image [of Ducasse] had been authenticated! Neglected was the fact that a wood engraving, executed from memory by MM the day after the police raid in which the only copy disappeared, had [already] been published in the Argentinian journal Ciclo (?) and reproduced in the journal La Rue (3rd trimester, 1952) in the special issue entitled Revolt to Order[4] and placed "at the disposal of the Surrealist movement" as a response to Camus' revolting book The Rebel. I saw the engraving recently. These documents are totally irreconcilable, obviously. I understand well that it will be quite possible to contest Mendez Margarino's anecdote and the value of his memories. This is obviously what will make people convinced, rightly or wrongly, about the truthfulness of their "discovery." But the sole fact that these "specialists," especially aware of the national Lottery,[5] had overlooked this detail is a sign of their imposture.

I hope that we will see each other again soon.

[1] Ivan Unger and Gladys Roy in a game of tennis upon the wings of an airplane in flight (1925).

[2] Translator's note: see letter dated 4 October 1989.

[3] According to the claims of Jacque Lefrere, in Lautremont's Face (Editions Horay, 1977).

[4] Translator's note: the French here is revolte sur mesure.

[5] Of which a special portion was devoted to the alleged effigy of Lautremont.

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

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