from Guy Debord

To Michel Bounan
6 February 1991

Note for Michel

The single document photocopied here[1] is sufficient; it is the basis for everything (the others are or will be hidden or suspect).

Nicolas [Lebovici] affirms that he never signed anything and that one has never made an accounting of anything to him; neither during his adulthood, when his mother was still alive, nor since her death. This is notably obvious with respect to Editions Gerard Lebovici, where he was clearly the majority owner, being the inheritor of 75% of Floriana Lebovici's estate, which itself represented 99% ownership of the firm.

One was happy to tell him, and he was happy to hear, that he was the owner of "half," but that his well-known [mental] incapacity prevented him from getting involved, with the result that he truly bears the responsibility for the stupidities sovereignly made by the other "half," supported by a dishonest secretary who was supposed to be "competent,"[2] with this agreement sufficing to make the enterprise run without any supervision. Nicolas thus found himself at the center of an extremely crude conspiracy (the lawyer played a role).

A criminal complaint of inveigling of inheritance is necessary. This must be [done] immediate[ly]. The mother having died on 19 February 1990. Isn't there a prescription of contestations after a year? From almost that date onwards, one has risked seeing the emergence of nicely fabricated documents.

It seems to me that the goal is not only to destroy Editions Lebovici, but to efface a certain number of books that have become too celebrated and could perturb the social peace that we so harmoniously enjoy. The possible political implications could come from the socialist coterie in power (many of the lawyers who are involved in this affair have long been part of Georges Kiejman's movement[3]).

It could also be that one arranges a conspiracy, "familial" or not, to make Nicolas appear crazy, delirious and "manipulated" by evil geniuses who have already done so much harm to the preceding Lebovici generation (there was a psychiatrist in the family, who no doubt will be against Nicolas, following the lies of his amiable half-brother). Thus you should immediately and formally become his doctor. You already wrote him a prescription.

I advised him to marry as soon as possible the charming and intelligent young woman with whom he has lived for a long time. He consented. I had more difficulty convincing him that he must not keep around him at that moment an old friend, whom he [Nicolas] believed was devoted to him, but who was in fact devoted to his enemy-brother. I am convinced that this person sought to exert influence in favor of the enemies, and could even be dangerous to him, simply by being there.

It would be a beautiful example of historical humor if the author who was fraudulently refused[4] by these ignoble saboteurs and thieves happened to save "our publisher." Thanks, in any case.

Pardon me for the comminatory tone of this note. I judge the danger to be very serious and very urgent (and not only for Nicolas). Therefore, you know your metier.

See you soon,

[P.S.] I add for you alone a confidential note, linked to the other (I will give Nicolas a copy of the latter). You will see that Nicolas is not at all gripped by persecution mania, but unfortunately the opposite: he most often believes that the entire world conspires in his favor; to admire him; to please him; to love him as he merits. Thus, being truly intelligent, he can make stupid mistakes that a half-cretin wouldn't even consent to hear about. Although very inexperienced, he has the artistic sensibility, and even an exact sense of what life must be. All this is gravely darkened by his dominant tendency to spontaneously and firmly believe that the world doesn't exist in any objective manner outside of himself.

I must suppose that all of those people who have clumsily flattered him have a very high opinion of their own intellectual value and good hearts, due to the sole fact that they have so unequivocally manifested their great taste and excellent intentions.

Alice and I are perhaps the only ones who have never flattered him. He tolerates Alice quite well, but finds me to be rude, especially now. Because he has felt, rather than understood, how others have hatefully thrown him into so many traps; due to the fact that, through what I call his musical sensibility, he follows the justness of my reasoning; because he sees that we are his only friends -- in sum, one can say that he puts his trust in us. But especially do not believe that he can be reassured because of my historical experience, or even my reputation as an author of his publishing house. Such trivialities do not have any influence on a way of thinking that is so grandiosely emancipated from illusions of vulgarity.

[1] A certificate of ownership, established by Mr. Voitey on 2 May 1984, was deposited by Michel Bounan at the Institute for Social History in Amsterdam, along with the totality of the letters and other documents that were communicated.

[2] Translator's note: Anita Blanc.

[3] Translator's note: Kiejman was a member of Francois Mitterand's "socialist" government from 1990 to 1992.

[4] Bounan's The Time of AIDS was refused by Editions Gerard Lebovici.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! January 2009. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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