from Guy Debord

To Gianfranco Sanguinetti
31 December 1972
Spectabili viro Gianfranco de Sanguinettis secretario
florentino in Bardi palatio tanquam fratri honorando.[1]

Two days ago, I received, my dear Gianfranco, your express letter from Milan dated the 19th [of December 1972]. It carries the postal stamp of Milan on the 20th and of Paris on the 28th! Thus, eight days were occupied by the transport between these two postal centers. We must have sent our letters on the backs of mules so as to cross the mountain passes of the Alps, which are snowed-over. We see that a collaboration between us requires that we live in the same town, or even that we organize a system of regular and extraordinary emissaries, who will take the first train and come back with the response.

I take good note of the news that you have sent me from Milan. "Autumn" wasn't really cold, but it was assuredly late. As you must have seen from my letter of the 16th, which you found upon returning to Florence -- at least I hope so! -- what angers me at the moment is the dreadful delay of the translation of a book [The Veritable Split in the International] that we published in April. And the worst part is not even the regrettable delay in its publication in Italy: the worst is that, having charged ourselves with the translation (which I regret), such a delay is harmful to our reputation. In the last three years, so many people have accumulated delays in our name; and, since then, certain delays have continued at Champ Libre, as if we can wait for them! All that now recalls such "practices" causes us the greatest injury. It isn't only a question of scheduling the delays, but of keeping to them exactly, or very close.

On another subject, do you know when Silva will finally publish the "[Situationist] Anthology"? Telephone him and, if need be, put pressue on Paolo [Salvadori].

On the other hand, as I wrote you on the 16th [of December 1972], you can abandon all tasks with Bolchi, the production of [the film version of The Society of the] Spectacle being in principle resolved here. (I do not want to say that it isn't useful to see Bolchi concerning subsequent developments in this domain -- production of subsequent films or distribution in Italy -- but nothing pressing, and it isn't necessary to approach these generalities.)

The lawsuit that [the publisher] Buchet brought against us [Debord and Champ Libre] has finally been adjudicated.[2] And it is he who finds himself completely condemned, in severe terms! Retroactive to 1 June 1971, the contract that tied me to them is canceled; the contract with Champ Libre is recognized as valid, so that the recent pirate edition can immediately be distributed to all bookstores as a legal edition. Buchet will certainly appeal, but this judgment is already immediately executed, and it appears very improbable that it will be reversed on appeal. As Paolo said, those who call the cops always see them come, but sometimes the cops come for them! History is rejoicing.

You wrote me that one has rendered your passport renewed for "twenty days." Did you mean to write "twenty months," or is this an outrageous pleasantry by the agents of the deceased [Police Commissioner Luigi] Calabresi?

The Asian [Alice Becker-Ho] embraces Alison and you. To the next year. Nec alia. Bene valete.[3]

Ex Lutetia die XXXI decembris MCMLXXII

[1] To Monsieur Gianfranco Sanguinetti, Florentine secretary at the Bardi Palace, honored like his brother. (Epistolary formula inspired by the Letters of Machiavelli.)

[2] On 20 December, the tribunal "orders the lifting of the injunction effectuated on the request of the Buchet-Chastel Company" and "condemns the Buchet-Chastel Company to turn over to Monsieur Debord and the Editions Champ Libre Company the respective indemnities of five thousand Francs and three thousand Francs."

[3] That is all. Carry yourself well.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 4, 1969-1972. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! June 2005.)

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