from Guy Debord

To Paolo Salvadori
29 April [19]84
Dear Paolo:

Bravo for all. Excuse me for not writing you sooner. I was awaiting clarifications, which are in large part still delayed; and I have been frightfully occupied. At first approach, it is naturally necessary, for a sane methodology, to expect everything and from the hours and days that will follow; and thus to occupy oneself with a dozen urgent questions, counting among them the security of [Gerard] Lebovici's children. Finally, I have been literally besieged, each day for six weeks, by a crowd of journalists and photographers. Such a usage of spectacular pressure reduces freedom to the point you are in prison. No journalist has been able to see me; neither has any photographer, apart from the one[1] who had the finesse to operate a telephoto lens across a courtyard and from someone else's place, and all for quite mediocre results. Only recently have I been able to disentangle myself from one photographer, an Arlesian[2] who continued to search for someone, and to welcome many others, to photograph him and send his own photos to him at his own address (which I have). A just terror has rendered him unavailable.

The general complicity has been so well proven, as you have said, by all of the press, that there is certainly no need to demonstrate that the assassination was encouraged and wanted by all sides. It was an execution by the established order. This was obviously a para-State intervention. It could be purely State-related, but all the same not like Moro:[3] the people of the government, or even the police services, appear divided on this affair. Those who did not make the decision themselves without doubt resign themselves to silence. Knowing the exact origin of this blow is vital for any anterior calculations for a "Communique #2."[4] Perhaps a certain exploitation was foreseen (even by others) and hasn't been executed.

We anticipate certain concrete questions. Unfortunately, our heros have two Achilles' heels.

1) Serious conflicts, and perhaps more important ones that he didn't see coming, in the affairs of cinematographical distribution or the three great interests in play.

2) The very dangerous association of Sabrina Mesrine,[5] who is completely uncontrollable and mentally unbalanced. A "leak" has it that the cops of the Criminal Brigade want to give the impression that they consider her to be "manipulated."

You see that an encouragement, an offer or promises (without accounting for the true or false information) easily passed from this [second] side. But it isn't at all impossible that the same thing was done by side #1.

I suppose that you know that a superficial anomaly of the affair resides in the fact that the assassins carried off Gerard's card case (identity card, credit card, etc.). The police, it seems, have declared themselves disconcerted by this bit of bizarreness. I do not believe they are so naive: this was done so that one could re-find the papers in someone's pocket -- or perhaps because one had only thought about it for an instant?

I believe that we will hear about this story for a long time. There will probably be great after-shocks. But if one presents a guilty person to us one day, it will not be necessary to believe it without a long examination; nor to believe that he was the only one involved!

Fortunately, a sufficient number of friends have helped me live a relatively easly life at such a moment (without believing, of course, that one can ever prepare for all levels of attack, and especially during any period).

Our regards to Genevieve and to you.

Of course, there is a side of "historical vengeance." Without it, nothing would be truly comprehensible: "Se tu non vienei a crescer la vendatta del Sessentotto . . . "[6]

[1] A photographer from Paris-Match. [Translator's note: see Debord's Considerations on the Assassination of Gerard Lebovici (translation published by Tam Tam Books, 2001), pp. 45-46.]

[2] B. Chabassud, a freelance photographer.

[3] Translator's note: For Debord's commentary on the assassination of Aldo Moro, see his letter to Gianfranco Sanguinetti dated 21 April 1978.

[4] After the Italian tract dated 18 March 1984 and entitled Hanno ucciso Gerard Lebovici ("They have killed Gerard Lebovici").

[5] Translator's note: The daughter of the bankrobber Jacques Mesrine, killed by the police in 1979. Lebovici reprinted his autobiography in early 1984.

[6] "If you have not come to increase the vengeance of Sixty-Eight," a detournement of a verse by Dante (The Inferno, XXXII, 81-82).

(Published in Jean-Francois Martos, Correspondance avec Guy Debord, 1998. Reprinted in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 6: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Footnotes by Alice Becker, except where noted. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2007.)

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