from Guy Debord

To Mustapha Khayati
Thursday [29 September 1966]
Dear Mustapha:

We are quite in agreement concerning the beginning of the pamphlet [On the Poverty of Student Life]:

-- For us, there isn't anything interesting about the student as student. His present and his planned future are equally despicable ("another effort if you would like to cease being one"). "Bohemia" isn't a revolutionary solution; but it is never authentically lived until there has been a complete rupture with and no return to the university milieu. Thus, students should not boast of about an artificial version of something that is already, in the best of cases, a mediocre individual solution. Make these editors at first feel our suspended scorn for them, so as to remove all doubts from them concerning the universal scorn merited by their milieu.

-- It is very important to violently -- and crudely -- critique religion. It is the height of their general poverty. Students believe themselves to have general ideas, conceptions of the world and, here as elsewhere, they jump towards the decomposed debris that they accept as worthy of them and their times. One can advance the idea that the student milieu is like that of old provincial women, the social sector in which the dose of professed religion is the strongest.

Also a good occasion to resume the theme of universal scorn: this is what one naturally incurs in accepting God.

-- Yes, the presentation of the pamphlet must be very sober. Its cover must include the title, which should be very long,[1] and reference to the U.N.E.F.,[2] that's quite enough. The illustrations, comics, etc., as a last resort, should be put aside as publicity, pasted on the walls, so that the students can also amuse themselves, but without ridiculing the principal work.

Cordially,
Guy

[1] The complete title would be On the Poverty of Student Life, Considered in its Economic, Political, Psychological, Sexual and Notably Intellectual Aspects, and Several Means to Remedy It.

[2] Translator: the National Union of French Students.


(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 3, 1965-1968. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! August 2005.)



To Contact NOT BORED!
Info@notbored.org
ISSN 1084-7340.
Snail mail: POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998