from Guy Debord

To Paolo Salvadori
Florence, 16 April 1973
Dear Paolo:

I received your letters of the 5th and the 9th concerning the translations of the English radicals,[1] which I will study.

We have also admired the charming L.D.G.[2] and I believe that this is actually "the young woman 14 years old" of whom I spoke in The Veritable Split;[3] since a year has passed since then, she would now be 15.

This Silva appears to be "une bella sgualdrina."[4] Perhaps he will at least finish the book that is already at the printer? One could hardly hope for more. I do not see how I can intervene at this moment, but I will willingly do so if you tell me that it would be useful for me to write him. Nevertheless, as he has never been economical with his lying promises, I do not see what new conclusions one could draw. On the contrary, the concrete responses that you might oblige him to make to you in a direct dialogue could greatly clarify things.

Someone told me that De Donato killed himself last year. If this is true, one can remark that the publishers who fuck with us die soon, at least in Italy.

The ex-Vaneigem's Terrorism or Revolution is a miserable, short preface to Coeurderoy;[5] perhaps augmented by several other stupidities, because is it not the equivalent of a pamphlet? But he lost his breath when he lost his mask.

I am quite content with your proposition to finally translate the [The Society of the] Spectacle into Italian. Or, rather, to complete the translation of Chapter IV.[6] When it is completed, I think I will add a "preface (or postface) to the second Italian edition," which could be useful.[7] I believe that we are in a good position to audaciously brave the copyrights of De Donato's inheritors. If necessary, and if we do not have another safe solution, we can have Champ Libre publish the book in Italian: it has already envisioned publishing in Paris the German version,[8] which will be completed in several months. This is thus an effort to undertake in any case.

I do not think that you should fear appearing in the cultural milieu as "the" translator of revolutionary texts in French. First of all, this is an esteemable activity, necessary for the movement; and, by seizing this "specialty" for a moment, during which you can do the work correctly, you will fortunately bar the way for others who would do the job in the manner of Fantinel.[9]

And I suppose that you will write other things yourself, and so you will not be a prisoner of this role. The theory of the spectacle in its epoch of decomposition is to be pursued, and you have formulated several very pertinent points in your letter of the 9th.

At the worst, if three signed translations appears to be too much for you, I would regret that you did not sign that of the Spectacle, and that you did sign that of the Treatise.[10] Because I believe that Spectacle is much closer to your own thinking and thus you translated it with more facility and success.

Write me in Paris. Best wishes,
Guy

[1] The Claimants Union, an organization of unemployed workers who opposed "the right to work" and "the right to live," appeared in 1972 and disappeared a year and a half later.

[2] "A young woman of 15 years (L.D.G.) danced nude in front of the windows of the minors' prison," a Roman daily newspaper announced.

[3] "The poetry that is in the SI can now be read by a young woman of 14; on this point, Lautreamont's desire has been fulfilled." (The Veritable Split, Thesis 13).

[4] "A real cunt."

[5] Ernest Coeurderoy, For the Revolution, preceded by Terrorism or Revolution by Raoul Vaneigem, Editions Cahmp Libre, 14 March 1972.

[6] Published in the first [and only] issue of Internazionale Situazionista.

[7] Translator's note: Such a preface -- to the third Italian edition -- would be published in 1979.

[8] Translated by Jean-Jacques Raspaud.

[9] Valerio Fantinel, translator of [Raoul Vaneigem's] Basic Banalities and, before that, with Miro Silvera, [Debord's] The Society of the Spectacle.

[10] Translator's note: Vaneigem's Treatise on Living for the Younger Generations, better known in English as The Revolution of Everyday Life.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1973-Decembre 1978 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)




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