from Guy Debord

To Donald Nicholson-Smith[1]
16 February 1978
Dear Donald:

I was very happy to learn from [Gerard] Lebovici about your projected translation of some of my writings,[2] the English versions of which have until now not been stimulating.

Since one tells me that, after the divergences that divided us, you have proven yourself to be scrupulous and assuredly honorable by wanting to undertake this task without my agreement, I believe that it would be good to make precise the limits of our divergences: not because, abstractly, ten years have passed, but because we are in another moment.

The conduct of the London group at the end of 1967 -- a bad strategy, I think -- no longer needed to be explained when the SI dissolved [in 1972] (and, likewise, it could no longer be explained in the autumn of 1968, unfortunately, because the SI was still crossing a difficult road and the chances of admitting such a precedent were greatly diminished).

But beyond the "organizational" plane on which this regrettable discord arose, you certainly remember that I always accorded you the greatest confidence in all the qualities that I recognized in you, and not only your intellectual talents. Of course, as everything continues, I find nothing surprising in the fact that you are still in the same historic party. I will gladly be at your disposition for all cases in which you might have need of diverse specifications or my opinions during these efforts.

With my very best memories, and to Cathy, as well.[3]

[1] An ex-situationist. [Translator's note: an Englishman who was fluent in French, Nicholson-Smith was a member of the Situationist International from 1965 to 1967. He was excluded along with Timothy Clark and Christopher Gray in December 1967. See letter dated 21 December 1967]

[2] Translator's note: Nicholson-Smith's translation of Debord's The Society of the Spectacle was published by Zone Books in 1994.

[3] Companion of Donald Nicholson-Smith.

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

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