from Guy Debord

To Andre Frankin
15 July 1959
Dear Andre:

Good, I will wait patiently for No-Future, Renory, the theory of the Total Novel, etc.[1] and so will make the leap to coherence when the times comes, which I hope is soon. A single question, between now and then. The expression -- the conception -- of the "planning" of individual existence, mentioned in your preceding letter, is good (but isn't good, for example, in the writings of [Henri] Lefebvre). Can I cite it?

The most recent Arguments? Yes, it was never brilliant nor even very consequential, but at present it has arrived at its lowest point -- politically as well. Mascolo is involved with them now, as if it wasn't grotesque enough for him to be at the head of the intellectual Resistance put up by [the journal called] The 14th of July. On the other hand, I see progress in the last two issues of Socialisme ou Barbarie, after the departure of C. Lefort[2] and the enraged wing of anti-organizationals.

In the novel, the fundamental question of time resided more in the liberty of beginning and ending the story at signficiant points, rather than in the choice of including certain moments and excluding others. This is as true for the recital of a brief isolated adventure, as for the representation of an entire life (Adolphe, in which the hero's exile is the same as his end). I believe that it is this form of soveriegnty (used derisorily in the novel) that everyday life aims at appropriating.

It seems to me that the question of time is posed in an analogous manner by the cinema, which is another form of the representation of the temporal flow of things. Here, as there, what's interesting lies in those moments at which the alienated satisfactions of the spectacle can, at the same time, be rough sketches (in negative) of a planned development of affective life, that is to say, of the affective events inseparable from thought and action.

Say hello to Claude,[3] when you see him.


[1] Cf. "Programmatic Sketches," I[nternationale] S[ituationniste] #4, p. 16.

[2] Claude Lefort.

[3] Claude Frere.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 1, 1957-1960. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2005.)

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