from Guy Debord

To Christian Sebastiani and Jaime Semprun
3 January 1986
Dear Christian and Jaime:

I indicate to you as soon as I can, because this could be revealed in the supplements to the Encyclopedia [of Nuisances] -- I still do not have Jaime's new address in Paris -- a small infamy that [Editions] Gallimard has added to the preceding ones (cf. Orwell[1]) on the occasion of the most recent reprinting of the paperback edition of the Anthology of Black Humor.[2] Since [Andre] Breton wrote a preface for the Anthology, an ignorant cunt[3] believes that she is permitted, by her patrons, to write a preface to Breton, which takes the form of a cancerously enlarged and signed note, of which one, regretfully, can not say is scholarly. This takes place very underhandedly. And, naturally, methodical casualness tries to soil Breton by attributing to him the "error" of rallying to the Stalinism of 1946 -- as if he had thus followed the compliance of the publisher! I add that the erratum demanded by Elisa and Aube[4] is presented as a small insert floating around in this book, so that almost everyone will throw it away before even reading it.

Admire Senderens.[5] Now that the philosophers think like cooks' helpers, the cooks philosophize and, in any case, retain the principal function of the majority of philosophers: to hide the essential of the real question and cover [napper] empty words with the sauce of the stupidities of the times.

The assassination of the lawyer, Perrot, is interesting for all that recalls the Lebovici affair.[6] The consequences (?) of the investigation will be something to follow.[7]

I have seen Mezioud [Ouldamer]. It is fitting that, at this moment in Paris, he drinks very badly (pollution?) and then "can say anything [he wants]." I objected to him that wine never makes one say anything, but that at the worst it can make one say whatever weighs on one's heart: which the formula in vino veritas expresses quite well. And this is why he sometimes finds himself among people who would do well to guard against wine, especially good wine.

Best wishes. We wish you a good year as sincerely as we wish that many others have a bad one.


[1] With respect to whom malevolent biographical notes expressed a persistent hatred after he denounced the Stalinist and fascist powers. [Translator's note: Editions Gallimard, which was founded by the Stalinist Gaston Gallimard, refused to adequately publicize Orwell's books in the 1940s and 1950s, even though it had published French translations of them.]

[2] Translator's note: edited by the surrealist Andre Breton and first published in 1940, this collection includes texts by Swift, Kafka, Poe, Lewis Carroll, Baudelaire, Jarry, Craven et al.

[3] Nicole Chardaire.

[4] The widow and daughter of Andre Breton.

[5] Translator's note: Alain Senderens, a well-known French cook and restaurant owner.

[6] Translator's note: On 5 March 1984, Gerard Lebovici was murdered in an ambush. His killers were never identified or apprehended.

[7] In 1994, Elisabeth Cons-Bouboul, Jacques Perrot's mother-in-law, was condemned to 15 years in prison for complicity in the assassination.

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

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