from Guy Debord

To Dahou
18 November [1957]
Dear Midhou:

I was very happy to receive your most recent letter and I approve your projects in the near future.

Here [in Paris] one can say that what we call the theoretical-artistic affairs of the group go well, and so do our personal circumstances (health, lovers, everyone is well-housed and practically well fed). All the rest are lamentable, as reading France-Soir can teach you.

Three months ago, with the survivors of the [International Movement for an Imaginist] Bauhaus, we founded a "Situationist" International, completely aligned with the newest positions that we have taken these last few years (with the result that there have been quite a few scandals and breaks on the Italian side). I believe that Asger [Jorn] has made great progress, with a few moments of partial backtracking from time to time. But his rallying to the ensemble produced a very similar effect in '55 with the break of Alex [Trocchi] from Merlin. Only Asger has now proceeded slower and on a vaster scale (one can say European); and he has provided us with a certain number of new (economic) means that seem to be in full development. We have also taken many voyages this year. There remain among us 4 Italians, but at least 2 of them are clearly suspect:[1] they are at this moment in a minority position, rejected by everyone [else] and I do not know what conclusions they must soon draw. We have 2 very good Belgians,[2] but not from Marien's group.[3] A single Englishman,[4] trustworthy so far; the others are still at a very confused stage of sympathy. This Englishman is no longer in London. This winter, he starts to work in Venice, of which he will make a complete psychogeographical study; moreover, he lives with the daughter of Peggy Guggenheim: Pegeen, whom you know. At this moment, the return of Alex [Trocchi] would be good from all points of view, but I have had no news from him since I sent to him, in Hollywood, the driver's license that he needed to traverse the USA by car and disembark in New York, as I have already written you. Hafid [Abdelhafid Khatib] is still inactive but he has finally laid his hands on a young Marsupial[5] who is completely charming. He has also done good translation work.

Eugene, the American who reads [James] Joyce, came through the neighborhood, looking for you. Since he was going to Tunisia and hoped to continue to Algeria, Hafid gave him your current address. So that we do not risk forgetting about you, eight days ago I dedicated my most recent important article to you.[6]

We miss you a great deal.[7] Quite affectionately to Marcelle and you.


[1] Translator: on 25 January 1958, at the 2d Conference of the Situationist International, three Italians -- Walter Olmo, Piero Simondo and Elena Verrone -- were excluded.

[2] Translator: Walter (Piet) Korun and Maurice Wyckaert.

[3] Marcel Marien, who, in April 1954, founded Les Levres Nues [The Naked Lips], published in Brussels, on which Guy Debord collaborated from September 1955 to November 1956 (cf. Les Levres Nues, numbers 6, 7, 8 and 9).

[4] Translator: Ralph Rumney.

[5] Concept -- always used as a masculine word -- invented by Ivan Chtcheglov to designate the "anti-woman," and adopted into the argot of several situationist connoisseurs: "She is ugliness and beauty. She is like everything we love today."

[6] "Another effort if you would be situationists: the SI in and against decomposition," published in Potlatch #29.

[7] Translator: note that the Fayard edition reads Tu nous manques beaucoup ("You miss us a great deal"), which would appear to be a typographical mistake.

(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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