from Guy Debord

To Gianfranco Sanguinetti
20 November [19]71
Dear Gianfranco:

Yesterday evening I received your letter #2 from 16 November and the attached documents. Prior to that, I received the [book by] Naude -- which I have begun with some difficulty -- and the contact sheets. Thanks for all of it.

We are happy with the idea of seeing you pass through here, even quickly between administrative formalities and still more if you can obtain authorization to stay in France next year. It is really the height of the special dialectic of the State that one must now desire that this cold monster authorize you to do something that it had no right, and not even a motive, to prohibit you from doing in the first place!

Nevertheless, I scent a possible trap. Take to heart the opinion of Magnoli. I believe that it will be necessary to come with a[n assurance of] safe-conduct; but pay attention to every engagement that you sign here. If we soon sign "The So-Called Schism,"[1] can not one argue that this treatise can trouble the public order? It is especially necessary to insist that you do nothing else beforehand: that is to say, that you never fall under the blow of any law or regulation (and there are plenty) that protect the public order. Your visits are a thousand-times justified by your intellectual and artistic enterprises, without even speaking of your simple right to tourism. One had no precise reason for expelling you [from France], etc. In any case, I think that we must organize ourselves so as to remain at least half Tuscans. But your presence here [in Paris] will be particularly fortunate for the realization of the film,[2] which I hope will quite probably take place in 1972.

As soon as you have this safe-conduct, write or, rather, telegraph the date upon which these forty-eight hours fall. We can wait at the airport if you tell us the time [of your arrival]. If not, we will be at Alice [Becker-Ho]'s place.

The friends of [Michel] Prigent conduct themselves very well! As he was in contact with [Rene] Riesel, if you write him, announce the exclusion of this unfortunate. I have received from Dublin a mimeographed edition of Mustapha [Khayati]'s Preface to a situationist dictionary from I.S. #10. Concerning the interview with Mack,[3] it isn't impossible that he evoked the SI and the editors were deceived, because it was exactly at the London School of Economics that we made a quite remarkable entry into the scene of English extremism in 1967.

So much the better if Silva [publisher of a situationist anthology] finally begins to go to press. I've learned from a copy of a letter that [Rene] Vienet sent from Hong Kong that the Dutch translation of Enrages and Situs [in the Occupation Movement] is ready and that Lehning[4] must now correct the proofs. By contrast, I have had no news from the Portuguese publisher.

I have not quite deciphered [Pietro] Valpreda's letter. I believe that he is a little vexed by our qualification of his defenders.[5] With pridence, you can try to explain to him. The clipping from L'Expresso, which [Claudio] Pavan sent me and I have forwarded to you, shows the strength and the objective certitude of the perils around this affair.

I have found the French equivalent of "Perequil" ("Procalmadiol"). I now have a nice quantity. I still do not know the equivalent of "Fargan." It is necessary for you to send me a little, but I still have enough for two weeks.

If you believe that we can do something, for money or pleasure, for your cousin Susanna, tell her to make contact with us at Alice's address, but she should keep this address to herself.

I will shortly send you a description (a robot-portrait) of the house that you must find me in Tuscany, when you have finished the fatiguing labor of moving and installing yourself at the palace on the Guadalquivir.[6]

Ever since I started working on it, "The So-Called Schism" assumed the dimensions of a kind of book, quite short all the same, which would include:

1) Theses on the SI.

2) The general characteristics of the "new era" in society.

3) An explication of the purge of the SI since [the conference at] Venice, but more chronological and more detailed on the people involved than the "Theses."

4) A critique of the "pro-situ" phenomenon.

5) The most recent state of the legends concerning the SI.

6) Selected documents -- very few -- on the essentials of the discussions within the SI.

I hope to submit to you shortly the "Theses" project, which is naturally the essential text in the ensemble.

See you soon,

[1] The private circular of the General Council of the International Association of Workers (Geneva, 1872) was titled The So-Called Schism in the International. It is to this text that The Veritable Split in the International alludes.

[2] The Society of the Spectacle, on which Gianfranco Sanguinetti worked as an assistant.

[3] See the letter to Gianfranco Sanguinetti dated 6 November 1971.

[4] Arthur Lehning.

[5] See the letter to Pietro Valpreda of 23 October 1971.

[6] The Arno in Florence. [Translator: the Guadalquivir is a river in Spain.]

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

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