from Guy Debord

To Gianfranco Sanguinetti
Champot, 24 July [1975]
Dear Gianfranco:

I am enchanted to learn that Censor finally arrives to "uscir dal bosco e gir infra la gente."[1] Fuck![2] I had so doubted that I would finally see the old sage help the world profit from the rich experience he had acquired that I came to ask myself if he really existed, and if his long experience in the service of the State and his incomparable culture only existed as a mere dream. A "philosophical" question suitable for Kautsky,[3] as for example if one wonders if someone else wrote The Divine Comedy, if Dante did not die in the battle of Montaperti[4] or some other incident to which his quarrelsome nature led him.

Such a pleasure makes me treat as negligible the fact that the appearance of Censor will increase "the obligations" during my summer in the mountains. Only the first chapter is translated, and I await the printed version (because Paolo [Salvadori] told me that there had been several corrections). But I guarantee a translation that is worthy of the original.

Send me the book as soon as possible, as well as the press clippings as soon as they appear.

Something was assuredly lost on 15 June [1975], but it is true that the passing of this deadline means that there is a different and perhaps even greater advantage, if the work is distributed well, despite the season and if the blow remains strong.

In any case, it is quite true that the deluxe edition will require a doubly or triply long period of time to produce, due to the modern techniques of composition. Nevertheless, I believe that a printing press working with diligence can perfect the object in less than two months. The important thing is that the first distribution of copies is made (and to an excellent selection of addresses). Each day counts.

It will indeed be important to envision the future, because it seems to me that, during a brief period after the success of this affair, you will be able to undertake almost everything with the greatest probability of success. And, in this brief moment, which already imposes itself generally as a law of all strategic action, I believe that the current situation in Italy adds a considerable conjunctural intensity: because, even from here, Italy seems to me to be sliding rapidly and inexorably towards a Stalinist takeover of the government, and thus the press and the police as well. I believe that the [general] population, because its attention has been worn down by the situation that you have evoked, does not even know exactly at which point the slide accelerated. The tendency for the old political personnel to resign is certainly explicable, but nevertheless extraordinary. It will perhaps be a political stampede that is comparable to the military one in South Vietnam [in 1975]. One can now wonder if the example of Portugal, even if it is terrible, can still provide a strategic barricade for the most rational members of the bourgeoisie. What other card do they still have to play in Italy?

In Portugal, "our party" has made immense progress. The open struggle between the Stalinists and their generals, on the one hand, and Soares and all of the moderates and traditional counter-revolutionaries, on the other hand, seems to be the final battle that will decide which side will be the master of the State that will have to confront the workers, make them keep quiet and quickly put them back to work -- or perish.

In a month, Champ Libre will reprint a collection of the twelve issues of Internationale Situationniste that is much better than that of Van Gennep. And the film,[5] the text for which I already have the script, will be -- if I find the majority of the images that I hope to have -- much more violent than [The Society of the] Spectacle. Thus, along with the translation,[6] the Parisian autumn will be cold, at least for the intelligentsia.

I have sent you the photo of the charming girl because she seems to me to very closely resemble "Oime il bel viso, oime il soave squardo!"[7]

I hope to see you around the 30th. Send me the reading material and telephone me.

Best wishes,

[1] "Leave the woods and circulate among the people." (Petrarch, Canzoniere.)

[2] Translator's note: Italian in original.

[3] Karl Kautsky (1854-1938), German Social-Democratic theorist.

[4] Bloody battle in which the Guelphs were vanquished by the Gibelins in 1260 (five years before Dante's birth).

[5] Translator's note: the Refutation of All Judgments, Either Full of Praise or Hostile, That Have Been Made Until Now About the Film "The Society of the Spectacle."

[6] Of The Veritable Report on the Last Chances to Save Capitalism in Italy.

[7] "Alas, the beautiful face; alas, the soft glance!" (Petrarch, Canzoniere.)

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1973-Decembre 1978 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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