from Guy Debord

To Christian Sebastiani
28 March 1986
Dear Christian:

Thank you for Erewhon, which seems to be faithful to its title,[1] to the point of arriving at it directly. The postmaster here, alerted by Paris, opened an inquest and had the impudence to send a questionnaire to ask me if I had received Erewhon. The response was Nada. Instructed by this experience, and several others, I ordered the book from the store that supplies me, from time to time, from a list that I have furnished. Thus it has the concerns of the correspondence, the computer breakdowns, the sometimes delirious representatives. And the books arrive by chance, unpacked or in driblets, but nearly all of them [eventually]. If suffices for me to sometimes go by there and it is fifty meters [away]; one can only find good surprises there.

It is a fact that, in this kind of town[2] the letter carriers, all of whom are unionized Stalinists, hide badly a certain malevolence towards me. I have long made them indignant by getting my bread[3] from Paris. They are shocked to see me inhabit the likeable neighborhood of the Gitans.[4] I shock them even more by living in this place,[5] which they judge to be elegant. They are tired by the great number of letters, telegrams and packages that they must deliver to me. And perhaps they even know, ever since the unfortunate year of 1984, that I have always harmed their ideals and interests as much as I could.

Your observations about the second-hand clothes[6] that fall down are instructive and amusing. Fortunately so many different Encyclopedists[7] can search in the lot for something in their size, like at the barracks of the moth-guards. Seeing these old clothes, I said to Alice [Becker-Ho] that all of them seemed a little too tight for you. She disdainfully refuted this critique by providing as sufficient proof the fact that she herself had noted your measurements. This is not the first time that what goes very well on paper comes off [tomber] worse with wear.

I am happy that you are translating Tellez.[8] You know the constant and extravagant misfortunes of this manuscript over the last six years. And yet the translation is easy: the text is beautiful and simple like a Western, like the Iliad. Save it, perhaps even Sabate -- such an estimable comrade -- from returning into the night for an even longer time.

I responded to Jaime today.[9] We saw Anne with pleasure. The news from the chateau appears encouraging. History does not present an example of a single engraver who could resist such a siege in a place of this strength for more than two years.[10]

Our best wishes to you all.

[1] Erewhon: backslang for nowhere.

[2] Arles.

[3] Poilane.

[4] In the Roquette neighborhood.

[5] Place de l'Hotel-de-Ville.

[6] Translator's note: the French word employed here is fripes. We have the sense that this paragraph develops a whole series of puns, but cannot be exactly sure, because we don't have access to the letter from Sebastiani that Debord is responding to.

[7] Translator's note: those involved in the production of the Encyclopedia of Nuisances.

[8] Antonio Tellez Sola, author of Sabate: guerrilla urbana en Espana (1945-1960).

[9] Translator's note: See letter dated 28 March 1986.

[10] Conflictual relations with the co-owner of the Besanceuil chateau.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 6: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! June 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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