from Guy Debord

To Anita Blanc
20 November 1989
Dear Anita:

I have just received your check[1] and thank you for it. Gerard Voitey has in fact written to me.

It appears to me rather difficult and even completely excessive to tire Floriana [Lebovici] with Pascal Dumontier's manuscript[2] at this time. Austere reading, which took me an entire night, and I know the subject perfectly and am in good health. I wrote a note to Lorenzo [Lebovici] to arrange to see him. And I hope I am able to bring him this bulky manuscript and make him promise to read it immediately. There is no doubt that this book comes at the right time, given the effect of the works of Marcus and Levin in the USA,[3] to say nothing of the troubled period that now begins in the world. As far as our success in America, I must warn you that, among their by-products, there is a former American situ[4] -- he wants to try to re-establish contact with me -- who says that Donald Nicholson-Smith, another ex-situ, has arbitrarily returned (it seems) to the project of translating The S[ociety] of the S[pectacle]. A dozen years ago,[5] this same Nicholson-Smith greatly disappointed Gerard [Lebovici], with whom he went to Paris to discuss the matter and who envisioned working with Nicholson-Smith. And so, today, he is too late[6] and it is not necessary to accord any rights to this person, who cannot even be a pirate protected by his respectable age, like Black and Red.[7]

I have recently met Pascal Dumontier, who pleases me greatly. There is no longer any doubt that he will pursue, in the framework of the university, a series of rich investigations and "discoveries" concerning the movements of 1968; and I presume that its success will be great. Perceiving the respect that he obviously has for Champ Libre's past, and very vaguely evoking an illness that slightly sidetracks him at this moment, I believe I easily succeeded in convincing him to be patient. I will see him again, and I think I can gain a few more weeks' time, because he will surely sense that he will need me to procure for him several precious unpublished documents.

I tell you the central strategic point that can immediately be distinguished in this affair: if by misfortune another publisher should attempt to reap this windfall, it would not only be ridiculous for Editions G[erard] L[ebovici], but also -- given the subject matter -- would risk marking the end of an era. Furthermore, you will see that I have said absolutely nothing to him that could appear to engage the publishing house (from which he will expect a letter) in any manner.

I think that you must now speak directly to Jorge Anagrama.[8] Communicate to me quite precisely the definitive conclusion [of this affair].

See you soon. Cordially,

[1] See letter dated 6 November 1989.

[2] The Situationists and May 68: Theory and Practice of the Revolution.

[3] Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century, and Thomas Levin, author of "Dismantling the Spectacle: the Cinema of Guy Debord," both published in 1989.

[4] Tony Verlaan.

[5] See letter dated 11 July 1979.

[6] In fact, Nicholson-Smith's translation of Debord's The Society of the Spectacle would eventually be published by Zone Books in 1994.

[7] The Black and Red translation of The Society of the Spectacle was first published in 1970 and then again, in an improved and corrected edition, in 1977.

[8] See letter dated 1 July 1989.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! December 2008. Footnotes by the translator.)

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