from Guy Debord

To Raoul Vaneigem
Thursday evening, 15 February 1962
Dear Raoul:

A little after your departure on Sunday, all of our pretty world dispersed, well satisfied with the rules of accounting and programmes for the future -- with the exceptions of Jacqueline [de Jong] and Comrade Strid,[1] who obviously didn't manage to dominate their resentment and confusion concerning the disappearance of so many painters[2] in the space of a single morning. In the evening, we only did a little work with Attila [Kotanyi] and Uwe [Lausen]; and, the next day, only with Attila.

I make you aware of the 4 questions that were treated:

1) Attila immediately discovered in the journal that Uwe must publish to combat Spurism an occasion to finally strike at the heart of "the German ideology," without raising the price. How not to congratulate oneself? He boldly promised his collaboration with Uwe on the essentials of the arguments, citations and references. And so this journal, a little light to illuminate the S[ituationist] I[nternational] pavillion in Germany, becomes a cultural affair of the first rank. Title adopted: The German Thought.[3] Yes.

As a profound theoretical justification of our laziness on several fronts since [the conference at] Gotenberg, we agreed not to write the Hamburg Theses,[4] so as to impose all the better the central meaning of our entire project in the future. Thus, the enemy cannot feign to approve it without great difficulty. Moreover, one can certify that this is the height of avant-gardism in the formal presentation of ideas, perhaps opening the way for the explication of Lautremont's Poems by schoolboys? One adds the most fortunate confusion to all this if one bears in mind that it will be necessary to rank among the authors of this constellation of situationist theses (a very nebulous theoretics, out of reach and imprecise where its frontiers are concerned, but nevertheless bright and shiny) Alex Trocchi, who follows the same path but without being in nor being seen in Hamburg, at least not at the moment.

3) After re-reading his article for I[nternationale] S[ituationniste] #7,[5] Attila found it very Kotanyian in tone. Exactly. But now he no longer wants to publish it without a long explanatory extension. Given that we know that he has only provided several Kotanyian pages in a little more than six months, we absolutely lack the elements necessary to calculate the capitalist age and the time of production required for an article that is non-Kotanyian in style.

4) We didn't have time to pull together all of the editorial notes for I.S. #7 -- which remain in the chaotic state where we left them. I said that I will try to come to Brussels around Thursday the 22d [of February 1962], ready to discuss the manuscripts that are the furthest along in the process -- but this is not guaranteed. Can you specify for me the date of your trip to Paris? Isn't it the weekend of the 24th and 25th?

Concerning Attila's work, here is my exhortation: to the extent that it is possible, between now and your next trip to Paris, I count on you for a clear and transparent re-casting of this article, so that it can appear in I.S. #7. Thus -- unfortunately, this is doubtful -- one will satisfy point #3 [above].

But try to occupy yourself more with point #1: that is to say, recall the commitments made by Attila, which are to be completed between a month and six weeks from now. It is necessary to understand that a delay on this terrain will be infinitely more unfortunate than our current practices. The German journal is without any content, and Uwe, abandonned, will be demoralized because he is a recent adherent to the SI and firmly counts on your aid.

Cordially yours,

P.S. The demonstrations[6] are beautiful. On Monday, the manner was dignified and calm, but on Wednesday one took to the streets. But what to do with them?

[1] Hardy Strid, a situationist in the Scandanavian section.

[2] The exclusion of the Spurists Kunzelmann, Prem, Sturm, Zimmer, Nele, Fischer, and Stadler.

[3] Der Deutsche Gedanke, which finally appeared in April 1963.

[4] Cf. Internationale Situationiste, third annex, p. 703, of the Fayard re-edition.

[5] "The next stage," I.S. #7, p. 47.

[6] The demonstrations of 12 and 13 February 1962, which protested the police charge of 8 February that killed nine people at the Charonne subway station.

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

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