from Guy Debord

To Gianfranco Sanguinetti[1]
Wednesday, 1 December [19]71
Dear Gianfranco:

I have just received your letter #3 from 26 November. Thank you for the photos. I find that you have been successful with the photos of the Asiatic [Alice Becker-Ho] on more than five or six occasions. I myself am quite happy with my photo, which I took at Monteriggioni, and in which you find yourself so well-surrounded.[2]

I send to you your letter to the authorities on your expulsion [from France], corrected. If the text is by Vaconsin, this lawyer isn't very good. I have utilized, even in an administrative style, a better French and a more dignified tone. (One addresses to a minister "high consideration," which is more polite, and yet doesn't show respect for such a rascal! -- I have explained to you that "facchino"[3] had in 17th century French a socially scornful meaning.) In the first paragraph, I have adopted a bit of the tone of the 18th century. It was then that the bourgeoisie employed the best and most dignified language. None of it remains today. In administrative terms, the "family situation" means "charged more or less with wife and children, etc."

Although I would be very happy to see you soon, I have some doubts about the results of this action. Naturally, you must only come [back to France] after having received your [assurance of] safe-conduct while still in Italy and having left a photocopy with Mr Mignoli, so that he can have your ambassador intervene if a trap presents itself.

I believe that it is a very good idea to immediately issue a tract on the Valpreda affair. Of course, with desirable cleverness in the content. This would be a precursor to the Class Struggles in Italy, in the way that Jean-Pierre [Voyer] has done in advance of his "Encyclopedia" by writing a prelude entitled "How to Use Reich," which I sent to you in Pisa the day before yesterday.

I gave your address -- in Pisa -- to a sympathetic student who comes to stay in Italy with the comrade who wrote The Old Mole at the Hospital[4] and who spent a certain amount of time there. She demanded it from me; but perhaps they will only go to Milan.

The dream about [Raoul] Vaneigem is a very sad nightmare. But worse ones will come to him.

When you come here, it is very opportune to stay in a luxurious hotel and drive a Rolls-Royce. But I think that you can come brazenly to my place. What have we to hide and what could we hide? If, however, you believe it would be useful that we meet each other in a cafe, telegraph me the hour "at the bistro." But this bistro will not be that of the Gitan[5] (we no longer go there because, for reasons that escape me, the patron, who was for a long time very amiable, now looks at us askance). It will be at the bistro where we met you just before going to see your superb apartment,[6] where it was a question of distributing the lights (not in the sense of Aufklarung [enlightenment], but electric lamps).

I am troubled by Portugal as much as you are. I haven't seen Chico [Francisco Alves] in two months, which isn't a bad thing, and I suppose that there isn't any means. I've already said to Juju [Juvenal Quillet] that he doesn't sufficiently envision the manner in which the masses -- sometimes -- encounter their theory. But there are many interesting points; and still more concerning the plan for a book that he [Juju] proposes to write. But he reckons two years of work before completing it.

I note your future address, and I already admire the table found in Lucques (we have our translations for all the towns that the calata[7] of Charles VIII[8] made known to us). For our Tuscan naturalization, cf. note attached.

Concerning the "Borgist" poem, I feel that there is a problem with "sole" [sun in Italian] and that this can not be the same word in the rhyme. (Thus the sun is called Phoebus in the second instance.) But this isn't "solo" [alone] and I do not think that it is Latin or the old French verb "souloir" [to have the habit of]. Note that I have translated in the old flavor and that, in this era, one rarely translated literally! The author is Jeronimo Casio[9] from Bologna.

Your palazzo on the Guadalquivir [the Arno in Florence] being only at the first stage and manifestly too vast for suicide by gas, you must only fear the superhighways.

We will see what we can do for Susanna [Sanguinetti]. We will make her a sign. Alas, I understand from the note -- tanto gentile[10] -- from Celeste that she will not come to Paris for Christmas. We will wait.

I will send our theses (that is to say, the first part of The Veritable Split) as soon as the current editing is finished. This work advances very slowly, but I have found the tone, and I think that it will go beautifully.

Cordially yours,

[1] Framed at the top: "This was written to the sound of the Pastor fido [by Vivaldi] -- play the same music to read well."

[2] By Connie and Alice [Becker-Ho].

[3] Porter [or] stevedore in Italian.

[4] Pamphlet produced by the members of the group C.R.E.A.C.T.A.L., student nurses and nurses' aides.

[5] In the Chinese quarter of the 3rd arrondissement, where a Gitan had sealed a pact of fraternity by mixing his blood with that of Guy Debord, under the reproving eye of the patron.

[6] Rue du Point-Louis-Philippe, which was in the process of being remodeled.

[7] Invasion.

[8] The pretensions of Charles VIII to the kingdom of Naples, which he conquered in 1493, provoked an uprising in all of Italy.

[9] It is a question of the epitaph of Cesar Borgia by the poet Casio ("Cesar Borgia che era della gente / Per ami e per virtu tenuto un sole / Mancar dovendo ando dove andar sole / Phebo, verso la sera, al Occidente").

[10] So amiable!

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 4, 1969-1972. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! July 2005.)

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