from Guy Debord

To Guy Buchet
21 February 1969
Dear Sir:

I thank you for your letter of 10 February, and for the eight copies of [The Society of the] Spectacle received since then.

Seeing the explanations that you have amiably transmitted to me, I withdraw my unjust critique of your secretary.

In case there is time before the announced reprint,[1] I can correct four or five small typographic mistakes that remain from the first edition. But they hardly have importance.

For an explicit bookstore wrapper, I propose to you the following phrase:


Perhaps one might also note somewhere 6 or 7 thousand [copies have been printed]. Without pretending that this is a best-seller [English in original], one might give courage to the reader by showing that this text isn't too hermetic. I will let you be the judge.

Concerning the advertizing, it seems to me that this book draws the adhesion of certain people exactly to the extent that it is deprecated by others. Thus I believe that quoting some selected objections would be much more effective than taking praise into account. The best would be to make clear the tone of these [negative] critiques around the time of the book's [original] publication, and the completely different hostile tone with which one speaks of us since May [1968]. Please find three models attached, which I have numbered according to preference, in case you envision only one or two advertisements. The first is a little long,[2] but it is without doubt the most enlightening.[3]

[1] Printing was completed on 3 March 1969.

[2] On 24 March 1969, there appeared in Le Nouvel Observateur an advertisement with extracts from the press, of which the longest, signed Pierre-Henri Simon (of Le Monde), said: "A small staff of theoreticians publish a secret and prudently menacing journal of their apostleship of subversion . . . to destroy an essentially inhuman society . . . from Paris to Moscow, from New York to Peking."

[3] Rest of letter missing.

(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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