from Guy Debord

To Jaap Kloosterman
31 January 1973
Dear Jaap

I am quite content with the project of a Dutch translation of [The Society of the] Spectacle, which -- undertaken by you and your friend[1] -- will surely figure in the ranks, now quite empty, of the good translations of this book.

Today I finally sent to Maria a copy in which are indicated almost all of the detournements and their quite unequally specified origins[2] (plus several other notations on the probable difficulties of translation). Around half of these detournements are very easy to locate (truly celebrated phraes or taken from quite short texts). For the other half, a certain amount of effort and chance would be necessary. The best thing would be to note each point on an index card, because many of them -- dispersed throughout the book -- came from the same general area of the original text. Page 132 is the most frightful in this regard, but many pages are not mysterious, at least where this is concerned.

I will naturally be at your disposition for all clarifications that you might subsequently need.

We no longer hear from Boucher; and we do not try to wake up this dead man. At least you will have Van Gennep to publish your work[3]: he will be satisfied because his first edition of five hundred copies of the reprinted [issues of the journal] Internationale Situationniste were sold at the Cluny newstand. In the Diderot[4] that you gave me, I have found this phrase, which is of a very fine and durable historical perspicacity: "The bookstores of Holland print everything that one presents to them, but they do not pay."

[Gerard] Lebovici recently told me that Brill confirms his accord concerning the reprinting of Bakunin. One will thus have this marvel for a pittance.

Buchet has miserably lost his lawsuit against us! Naturally, he has appealed and all this will be settled in court. But the "provisional execution" that was attached to the judgment in our favor already allows us to legally distribute the pseudo-Dutch pirate edition (finally printed in Italy), which had begun its sub rosa career.

Bold film producers being finally found, I will shoot Spectacle this year. One can expect a beautiful scandal for many reasons. There is a good chance that, after this coup, it will become much easier to make films that, previously, immediately received general refusals (it is this situation that has naturally produced the fact that such projects are extremely rare). And so, do not despair of future possibilities for your own film.

I will be pleased to read your theses on Pannekoek when they are in French. I still know little about Pannekoek: you know that, if one counts on [Rene] Riesel to put him into the hands of the public, here as elsewhere where he is concerned, one would be too optimistic. My impression is that Pannekoek, as a revolutionary, is in the best current of Marxism; but on the theoretical and methodological plane, in the worst. Such a separation is obviously significant with respect to the misfortunes of Marxism and the proletariat.

Best wishes,

P.S. Concerning The Veritable Split, I suppose that if you ask for several copies from Lebovoci, he will send them to you for free. If not, tell me, and I will send them to you when I get more.

[1] Rene van de Kraats.

[2] Translator's note: our translation of these notations can be found here.

[3] Het Wereldvenster Baarn would eventually publish the book in 1976.

[4] The Trip to Holland.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1973-Decembre 1978 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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