from Guy Debord

To Chantal Delattre[1]
4 August 1959
Dear Chantal:

In the production of our film [On the passage of several people through a short unity of time], which is decidedly experimental from start to finish, a new element has appeared, one that is more extraordinary than the others.

Pressed to give me the German and French films that he pretended to have since the end of June [1959], Korber[2] has given me empty canisters, that is to say, canisters filled with simple soundtracks just now made available by Monsavon to supplement the images. Finding himself caught with his hand in the cookie-jar [la main dans le sac], he has heartily avowed that he hadn't been involved in the production since the end of May, that is, except to obtain several small sums of money through the pretext of depositing them, sums that he cheerfully diverted but do not exceed 70 or 80,000 Francs.

This gesture was so surprising (not so much from the point of view of moral indignation, but because of Korber's miserable character and the fact that he obviously chose to act in bad faith) that I have judged it appropriate to have a document drawn up, with the sole aim of eventually persuading all of the collaborators on this film -- not to mention its producers -- who might reasonably doubt such an improbable story.

Since then, one has seen the astonishing little guy throw down his mask by affirming that he never wrote what he had, quite willingly, verbally agreed to do. Thus, he probably has the intention of dissimulating to others this modest truth while he once more diffuses several myths that are more favorable to his reputation. But his obstinacy only lasted two or three minutes; and now I have this document.

On the other hand, what I don't have is the scenario of the film -- which my new assistant[3] will have to recreate. That is to say, your famous notebook: as you thought, good Serge didn't lose any time in copying the scenario, since he had no intention of commandeering the film itself.

Thus, can you make this notebook available to me? That is, if it remains at your place and if there is someone there at this moment who can give it to me? Your response is urgent.

At what date will you return to Paris -- that is, without bearing in mind this unfortunate news? We will do the editing on 15 September, no matter what happens.


[1] Editor of the first two short films by Guy Debord.

[2] Serge Korber, assistant director at the time.

[3] Ghislain de Marbaix [a former Lettrist].

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 1, 1957-1960. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2005.)

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