from Guy Debord

To Floriana Lebovici
Saturday, 3 August 1985
Dear Floriana:

The project of publishing the Documents Relative to the Foundation of the SI[1] proceeds under a pretentiously erroneous title. It is really a matter of "COBRA"[2] and lettrist sources (these could well emanate from [Gil J] Wolman). Potlatch[3] is the better material by far, and it will be lost in this jumble. Thus it would be excellent to publish Potlatch at the same time or nearly so. (Perhaps it would be good to announce this publication at the beginning of September? Judge for yourself.) Since that tedious jumble will be sold for 500 francs and through a more confidential distribution than ours, no doubt it would be efficacious to make one of the "inexpensive" volumes that are customary with us -- for ex[ample] something around 100 francs. Naturally, I wish the greatest lack of success to the people who claim to treat the "foundation" of the SI in a publicity-minded fashion, whereas the majority of the texts and people evoked had at the time no relation to this event, not even against it. One could say that the Mormons, who today baptize the souls of the past, have been replaced by a computer.

Although we aim at a historical document without flourishes, it is obviously necessary to make our book, despite its quite limited number of texts, not too much like a "pamphlet." The "Allia" book dedicates 90 pages to Potlatch properly speaking (I do not know their format). We must "air out" our book as best as possible, for example by beginning each issue on an odd page and by leaving the necessary blank spaces at the end.

As for the Swiss [person], I ask you to please consider that the "translations" (if I dare call them that) constitute the majority of the text and that what he himself has written must be corrected by Petris. The result would almost be the same if this scholarly work had been drafted in Esperanto.

Sorin[4] seems to want to provoke Editions G[erard] L[ebovici] on all sides, Kraus then Malevitch. Would it not be prudent to instruct Lewinter[5] about Nakov's misadventure?[6]

Mezioud [Ouldamer] is leaving at the beginning of this week. He has spoken to me of a book that has the greatest chances for being remarkable.

You are right to anticipate a mini-office for the SI. I await the errata:[7] it is I who have completely forgotten them.

I think I am going to remain here for a still imprecise part of September. If I can find my stonemason -- he ha promised me, but we will see -- I would like to have him work two or three days on several projects to reinforce the house's defenses: the iron bars on three windows and walls over a few superfluous openings. I will make precise the dates that this will be done for us. But perhaps you could come here by taking the direct Orly-Le Puy line?

You, too, miss me a lot. And it is even more serious: it seems to me that I am far from the theater of war, which once more is Paris.

We embrace you, Alice and I. See you soon.

P.S. Thank you for the [video] cassette of The Society of the Spectacle.

[1] Offered to subscribers by Editions Allia, the volume would appear on 16 September 1985. [Translator's note: subtitled "1948-1957," this book was edited by Gerard Berreby.]

[2] Translator's note: A group of radical artists that included Asger Jorn and Constant, COBRA stood for Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

[3] Translator's note: Potlatch (1954-57) was published by Editions Gerard Lebovici in 1985. See letter dated 7 July 1985.

[4] Translator's note: Raphael Sorin was one of the four Champ Libre employees who were fired by Gerard Lebovici back in 1974. (See letter dated 10 December 1974.) He later began a book critic for Le Monde.

[5] Roger Lewinter would translate Karl Kraus' Pro Domo et Mundo for Editions Gerard Lebovici.

[6] Andre Nakov. The prior day, on 2 August 1985, Floriana Lebovici wrote to Nakov: "I have learned that you have accorded to Raphael Sorin an interview about the book by Victor Chklovski, The Resurrection of the Word, published by us on your initiative. Furthermore, you have given complimentary copy to diverse and perfectly contemptible people. The declaration dated March 1979 and figuring in the successive editions of the Champ Libre catalogue is quite clear and leaves no room for equivocation. There it is. He who does not understand will never understand." This declaration is in translation here.

[7] Translator's note: Errata in the Editions Champ Libre/Editions Gerard Lebovici collection of all of the issues of Internationale Situationniste. See letter dated 7 July 1985.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 6: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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