from Guy Debord

To Constant
16 September [19]59
Dear Constant:

Our exchange of letters proves that we understand each other very well.

Naturally my rather "optimistic" tally [bilan] ("The SI after two years"[1]) is only intended for internal propaganda. And I do not want to write such things for Potlatch.[2] I leave you free to correct it as you wish or even suppress it.

I am completely in agreement concerning an appeal to the architects. It is necessary to study the best formula -- ideologically and also practically (languages, list of addresses, etc.), and adopt it as soon as possible -- in the name of the SI, which can only be reinforced by a success of this kind (but we must make sure that this appeal is understandable and encourages response), and so I mean 'reinforced' in the sense that interests us.

Concerning the text "Situationist positions on traffic," I agree to publish it, signed, in our collective work [on unitary urbanism] or even in the [situationists'] journal.[3] I believe that, if it were published in Potlatch, it would be best to publish it without signature, so as to give it the general weight of the [situationist] movement, except if the polemic in Holland grows stronger, even becomes a polemic between us and Alberts/Oudejans. Thus, I leave you free to sign my name to it if you judge this to be useful. But I would prefer -- for the on-going polemic with the other Dutch architects -- a translation of this text in Dutch, published as a mimeographed tract, and signed. While the French version in Potlatch would remain anonymous.

I have a lot of work to do. I will write at greater length the next time. (I count on your article on urbanism -- and [something of yours published in] Forum?)

I end with an important practical detail:

Only four days ago I received the photos from Alberts. But these photos are only of faces (Pinot [Gallizio], Gretel Stadler, you, me, etc.) There are 6 of them. And only 2 group photos! (the one that I proposed for issue #1 of Potlatch and the one in which we are grouped around the tape-recorder). I[4] have no use for headshots of anyone. I asked for photos of the group. Thus, stupidity or sabotage? Make this clear, quickly. Beyond that, the extremely bad proofs of the photos that Alberts sent me do not allow any negatives to be made! Try to send me some good proofs of the group shots immediately. There were at least 10 or 12 group photos, almost all of them excellent! They can at least do this for us.


[1] Written June 1959.

[2] Translator: originally a publication of the Lettrist International (1954-1957), Potlatch was revived as a situationist publication in 1959. A single issue was published on 15 July 1959.

[3] Translator: it was published in French and signed by its author in Internationale Situationniste #3, November 1959.

[4] Translator: as the editorial director of Internationale Situationniste.

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

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