from Guy Debord

To Gianfranco Sanguinetti
4 July [19]72
Dear Gianfranco:

We have received your letter -- a copy -- of 29 June [1972]. Here is some news, hastily.

I met with [Gerard] Lebovici. The Veritable Split [in the International] sells quite well. Between four and five thousand copies have already been distributed in the last five or six weeks, which seems to promise a reprint by autumn, the first printing being eight thousand [copies]. One tells me that one finds this book, in stacks, in a good number of Parisian bookstores, which fortunately are in competition with the Cluny newstand, where sales fell off after several hundred copies had been sold in the first few days; since the book can be bought -- or stolen -- almost everywhere. Thus we are freed from this zone of specialized distribution. The proletariat learns. The pro-situs despair.

Under the effects of this beneficial experience and certainly several protective allusions that I made to Lebovici concerning his publishing house, this subtle man of business has begun to apply himself efficiently to the questions of cinematographic production. With the result that we now have an agreement of principle with a certain Rassam[1] to film [The Society of] the Spectacle on a budget of eighty-five million [francs]. This Rassam is the exact French equivalent of Rosboch, perhaps more of a cunt, but richer: he has lost some money with the most recent [film by Jean-Luc] Godard, but immensely profits by the triumph of a vulgar comic film by Jean Yanne. Naturally, nothing has been signed, and several important details remain to be debated. Nevertheless, for the moment you can abandon [financial] research with Mattioli.[2] I will tell you precisely how this project evolves in the near future.

It seems that the Buchet lawsuit goes quite well, but nothing has been settled. The opposing counsel has pleaded quite maladroitly and completely on a political plane. He has said that, in 1967, Mr Debord didn't have the position that he has acquired since then -- as a result of the well-known troubles [May 1968] -- with the result that he would have taken the first publisher that approached him, then he seized the first pretext to choose, from among all those that offered themselvers, a publisher closer to his ideas! You see that things are presented to me as if the occupations movement had carried me into government, or at least as that harmful individual who made his reputation and fortune as the result of public misfortune.

Concerning the Gondi[3] palazzo: the neighborhood of Niccolo[4] would flatter him, but obviously is not suitable because of the crowd of other less pleasing neighborhoods that this implies. And especially the location isn't in good form. As you know, our friend Guichardin[5] desires to re-locate the center of his activities to the country of his ancestors, and to no longer devote more than a minor part of the year to his habitual embassies near the court of the Valois, as soon as possible. Can you find something for next month? So that we can occupy it immediately.

Thank you for the bed! We have signaled to the two sisters, of whom you traced such an interesting portrait, and whom we hope to see constantly.

Where are you in the planning of your translation [of The Veritable Split into Italian] and in the editing of your diplomatic memoires on the four first years of the Peloponnesian War[6]?


P.S. Can you transcribe the first phrase of The History of Italy[7]? I would like to judge the quality of the translation that I have begun to read.

[1] Translator: Jean-Pierre Rassam, French film producer.

[2] Gianfranco Sanguinetti's banker.

[3] Guy Debord.

[4] Gianfranco Sanguinetti.

[5] Guy Debord.

[6] In other words, the projected book on the class struggles in Italy drafted by Gianfranco Sanguinetti.

[7] By [the real] Guichardin.

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

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