from Guy Debord

To Floriana Lebovici
5 March 1986
Dear Floriana

I have read the Pansaers[2] with much contentment. It is a book that occupies an excellent place in the series that Champ Libre offered as a contribution to the history of Dadaism, and he is an author who particularly merits it. For twenty years, even in Belgium, Pansaers has only been a vague myth, an almost effaced name, nothing but a single title of an inaccessible work.

I shudder to think of the cold wave in Cogne,[3] but I rejoice that it has paradoxically done you good. I still envy your courage.

I still have not received the papers that you mentioned to me, with respect to Kessler.

Have the English from the ICA[4] responded to you? The time period that is necessary for them will be a testament to their seriousness (especially as translators).

When will the [Editions Gerard Lebovici] catalogue for 1986 come out? I am thrilled to learn that the diagrams[5] will be made so quickly.

As for the contract with Simar,[6] it seems to be that the simplest thing would be to resume the "research" on the film Of Spain for one more year, on the basis of the same bizarre intellectual conditions.[7] But as far as the economic aspect, I believe that it will no longer necessary to embark on pretexts somewhat or even strongly questionable concerning the "defrayments" for stays in Spain, and it would be better to set a monthly sum for this entire period.

As for the reprise of the investigation,[8] I am now persuaded that it is quite vain [for the police] to begin more or less suspect relations, in occasional circumstances, that would occur with almost everyone, especially all of the victims, and finally much less concerning Gerard himself than in the majority of cases (despite certain, often cited appearances that I comprehend so much better when I have participated in them). These are the new assassins (as one refers to "New Philosophers" or nouvelle cuisine or "New Towns"), who have an interest -- aided by the "New Journalists" -- in speculating on it [the assassination], by playing upon the associations of ideas of former times. The central point is to understand exactly this "new[ness]." It is the object of a kind of "sociological" research, but the sociologists do not engage in it. It is necessary to elucidate, as a really unified question, the following theme: "Life and death in Western Europe in the 1980s." It is necessary to understand which fakes and eliminations can be produced and in what style they could take place regularly, especially where economic-mediatic power (with properly political preoccupations) has become sufficiently concentrated and interwoven. This is why the death of Gerard was an historic event, more than that of Olof Palme.[9] The Lebovici Affair (by adding, if one wishes, all of those that followed) is finally no more strange than the current state of the world. What appears so "abnormal" in this case, I believe, is a new normality that establishes itself and that one must explain. I hope that one will, by their incompetence, leave us time to do so.

I expect you soon. I embrace you.

[1] Translator's note: the second anniversary of the murder of Floriana's husband, Gerard Lebovici.

[2] Clement Pansaers, Bar Nicanor and Other Dada Texts, prefaced by Marc Dachy.

[3] A small village in Piedmont.

[4] The Institute for Contemporary Arts, London. [Translator's note: the ICA would eventually host an exhibition about the Situationist International in 1989.]

[5] Of Kriegspiel (The Game of War).

[6] Translator's note: Film company created by Gerard Lebovici to produce the films of Guy Debord.

[7] See letter dated 25 April 1984.

[8] Translator's note: into the murder of Gerard Lebovici.

[9] Olof Palme (1927-1986), Swedish Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party (opposed to NATO), was assassinated on 28 February 1986. His presumed assassin, condemned in perpetuity in 1989, was acquitted three months later. [Translator's note: in Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle (1988), Debord would write: "As to the rising number of assassinations over the last two decades, which have remained entirely unexplained -- because, if one has sometimes sacrificed some nobody, it has never been a question of going back to the sponsors -- their character of production in series has its mark: patent and changing lies in the official declarations; Kennedy, Aldo Moro, Olaf Palme, ministers and bankers, a pope or two, some others who were worth more than all of them. This syndrome of a recently acquired social disease has quickly spread all over, as if, following the first documented cases, it descended from the summits of the State (the traditional sphere for this type of attack) and, at the same time, ascended from the underworld, the traditional place for illegal trafficking and protection rackets, where this kind of war has always gone on, among professionals. These activities tend to meet each other in the middle of the affairs of society, as if the State didn't disdain from mixing itself up in it and the Mafia elevated itself by attaining it; thus a kind of junction operates there."]

(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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