from Guy Debord

To Marianne Brull[1]
19 June 1981
Dear Madame:

Your letter of 3 June, in which you envision the possibility of a third edition in Spanish, if not in Spain properly speaking, of The Society of the Spectacle, has been transmitted to me by my publisher, who has told me that you would also like, if possible, to translate one or two of my other texts.

Considering, on the one hand, that your publishing house has long been esteemed for the publication of many excellent books on the Civil War era, but few, one tells me, concerning the problems of the last few years; considering, on the other hand, my own relations with people in Spain and the situation that has predominated since the end of January,[2] I estimate that this third edition could be published by you if we simultaneously agree on a supplementary condition: the prior publication in Spanish, by Ruedo Iberico, of the book Appeals from the prison in Segovia, recently published here by Champ Libre, which is in possession of the original manuscript.

If your translator is good, he will have no fear of my verifications, but it will be necessary to announce to him that, unfortunately for his restfulness, I know just enough Castellan to be able to verify all of the essential point, and that I will require that I correct, not only the manuscript, but the proofs as well.

One can no doubt reproduced as an appendix the Preface to the Fourth Italian Edition, but I think that Spain merits its own preface, which I can provide. I must faithfully warn you that, in such a case, I would be led to say at least as many disagreeable truths -- maladroitly dissimulated, for the moment -- on the subject as I said about Italy, and that this would be of a nature to greatly harm your distribution in Spain. Nevertheless, a lucid view of the evolution and outcome of the "democratic" transition could make it so that the edition in exile would soon recover the importance that it might lose [in Spain].

You thus see that you would be involved with the most difficult author, with the sole exception of questions concerning money, which are questions in which I always, in principle, have the blindest confidence in my publishers.

I would understand quite well that the publication of Appeals from the prison in Segovia, for a number of reasons that I would not be interested in knowing, might not fit into the framework of your publishing house. In such a case, neither would The Society of the Spectacle nor any other of my writings. It would even be useless to respond to this letter.

Please accept, dear Madame, the expression of my most sincere feelings.


[1] Editions Ruedo Iberico (Paris).

[2] See letter dated 25 February 1981.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 6: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

To Contact NOT BORED!
ISSN 1084-7340.
Snail mail: POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998