from Guy Debord

To Simondo
22 August [19]57
Dear Piero:

Your letter of 15 August found me this morning in Paris, after following me to Evian and Switzerland.

Concerning the remarks that you have communicated to me, I think that the questions that we must work on here can be connected to the notion of spectacle-participation, to an intervention in the environment. It is from this side that it would be necessary to search for a possible title [for the new movement]. I will pose this question when Asger [Jorn] and Ralph [Rumney] return here. Obviously we would like a precise determination of the domains, but we are opposed to an individual specialization. Thus it is necessary, a fortiori, to be careful not to fall into a sort of specialization by nationality (the English occupying themselves with psychogeography, the Italians with architecture . . . etc.), which would be inconvenient and which could, moreover, appear ridiculous.

The principal point to emphasize is that situationism, in the sense of a body of doctrine, doesn't exist and must not exist. What exists is a situationist experimental attitude, defined organizationally (precisely under the form of an international Association). In my Report [on the Construction of Situations], I have only used the word "situationism" once -- in quotation marks -- to denounce in advance one of the stupidities that our adversaries will naturally use to oppose us (page 18, last paragraph[1]).

To my knowledge, this term has never been used elsewhere (neither in writing, nor verbally) by any of us. You are the first to pose its existence in your most recent letter. Fortunately, it was to oppose it!

I know nothing of what's going on in Venice. Apart from greetings from Asger, [Guiseppe] Pinot and Ralph on a post card sent from Venice at the beginning of August, there no news from Italy.

The most urgent problem is the preparation of Eristica,[2] the editorial aspect of which we have taken responsibility. If a delay must take place, I wish that it doesn't come from our efforts.

1) I would love to receive the texts from Cosio[3] as soon as possible.

2) I wrote to Asger today concerning the illustrations. I have very few usable negatives for this issue. Where are the others? Have you news about the monographs? The stereotyper tells me that he transmitted to your printer the supplementary negatives. I still await the proofs to be corrected.

Regards to Elena and you -- from Michele[4] as well.


[1] Cf. Annex II, p. 700, Internationale Situationniste, Librairie Artheme Fayard, 1997.

[2] Eristica, the information bulletin of the IMIB [International Movement for an Imaginary Bauhaus] (Eristica refers to Socrates and the Sophists opposed to Dialektika).

[3] Translator: the Situationist International was founded in Cosio d'Arroscia, Italy, on 27 July 1957.

[4] Michele Bernstein, first wife of Guy Debord. Member of the Lettrist International, then the Situationist International.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 1, 1957-1960. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! October 2005.)

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