from Guy Debord

To Constant
[Thursday] 2 June [1960]
Dear Constant:

I just received your letter of 1 June.[1]

Concerning the practical details: I regret that you will not know the next issue[2] (that is to say, you didn't participate in it more). This is a material problem of remoteness:[3] for example, [Andre] Frankin worked alone. And others did absolutely nothing. It is a shame. In any case, it was too late to discuss it in Amsterdam: this issue [I.S. #4] was already composed.

I can not say otherwise for the cover: it is in the line followed until now -- more striking (the material is called lumaline. Attached is a sample, which isn't the exact same color). It is a metallic cover that has the effect of a deforming mirror. It is, all the same, a detail.

We distinguish between the method of the break and the bad feelings that we might each have, justly or not, you for me or reciprocally, on several passing points.

The Dutch architects[4] have not been "placed beyond the SI" by us. They placed themselves there, obviously, which was clearly attested to in Oudejan's honest and frank declarations (Monday evening, at your place). Attila Kotanyi[5] said that Oudejans' formulation of the necessity of "architects of a new type" in the SI was excellent, and that it only needed to go 10 years without being constructed. Which it has done.

Since you say that I am left to play and, as I imagine that this isn't a judgment of the contents of the journal that you still haven't read, you must be speaking of the Pinot [Gallizio] affair.

Why didn't you bear in mind what I said to you by telelphone, Tuesday morning, when I left Amsterdam? I said that I would henceforth refuse to have contact with Pinot. It seems to me that you only kept in mind the elements that supported your aggressive thesis. This kind of dialogue, between us, must now cease, in one manner or another. It is for you to choose.

Thus I ask you to note the definitive conclusion that was adopted at the meeting held Tuesday evening in Brussels:

Pinot and Giors [Melanotte] are excluded from the SI for their persistent relations with Pistoi-Guasco-Tapie, and their sickening arrivisme.[6]

I am sure that, here, we have arrived at the point where the SI must immediately choose (or must be abandoned). Because you know well that I have always thought that "there are moments at which it is necessary to know how to choose"; that you haven't needed to teach this to me; and that, if there has been a certain opportunism in the SI, I have been among those (you, too) who have counter-balanced it.

[Asger] Jorn was the first partisan of the measure of exclusion: it is useless to note that, based on our report, Maurice and Attila[7] didn't hesitate a second (furthermore, they are more interested in the discussions that we had with you on the conditions of our action in architecture).

All the same, I hope that this will reassure you, if it is still possible to reassure you -- and especially to the extent that you have just now told me that a break with Pinot would never be accepted by the other situationists.[8]

Thus, I believe that I must wait before distributing [copies of] your letter of resignation dated 1 June [1960]. I ask you to write me as soon as possible if you maintain its terms or not, now that you know the end of the Pinot affair.

In case you maintain your resignation, it is understood that this would be a resignation decided by you alone and is not an "exclusion"; that I maintain all the interest that I have had in your investigations; but that this would be a public and definitive choice (because we have unfortunately too much to struggle against on all sides to leave inactive the only weapon that guarantees our rigor: the definitive character of a departure from the SI -- which allows one to be reassured, for example, that Pinot will not reappear in it).

With the hope of a positive decision on your part, if you judge it possible. In any case, amicably,


P.S. Useless to say again that I regret my ultra-quick trip through Amsterdam. I had to be here, at the printer, yesterday. And it was necessary to bring to La Haye the negatives, because we, who are publishing Pinot's monograph, would like to announce his exclusion in this monograph (which will produce a certain effect on certain dealers and museums, I think). Excuse me for the rapidity of the writing of this letter. Yesterday I thought to send you the most recent news. But I am quite exhausted by the crazy rhythm of this voyage.

[1] Translator: Constant's letter of resignation, which he wrote the day after Guiseppe Pinot-Gallizio and Giors Melanotte were excluded from the Situationist International. Copies of this letter are unavailable.

[2] Translator: Internationale Situationniste #4, June 1960.

[3] Translator: eloignement ("remoteness") can also be translated as "aversion" or "postponement." Something prevented more full participation in the preparation of I.S. #4: remoteness from each other (Debord in Paris, Constant in Amsterdam, Andre Frankin in Belgium, etc); aversion to editorial work; or postponement of responsibilities.

[4] Translator: Har Oudejans and A. Alberts, who'd been excluded from the SI in March 1960.

[5] Translator: Kotanyi, who'd just joined the SI, was also an architect.

[6] Translator: opportunism.

[7] Maurice Wyckaert and Attila Kotanyi.

[8] Translator: Certainly the entire German section could be counted on to vote for Pinot's exclusion. See letter to Constant dated 26 November 1959.

(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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