from Guy Debord

To Gianfranco Sanguinetti
7 July [19]70
Dear Gianfranco:

Tourism in southern Italy has been greatly deceived.[1] But these things happen (although one can believe that these conditions are very improbable). Thus it will be necessary to go there to see; and it is only by direct experience that one can discover that such obstacles are momentarily unavoidable.

In these conditions, our friends have acted very intelligently by doing nothing -- rather than doing it badly. It is sometimes necessary, alas, to dominate one's passions!

On the contrary, what is perfectly avoidable is gossiping on the telephone, of which a communication between the Oriental and Bonnot de Labande[2] without doubt attained the summit. This was avoidable (one must even know this implicitly as avoidable) because this kind of hurried curiosity was in any case useless and, moreover, could very easily have been harmful. Thus, in this context, I have written the text that is attached.[3]

I have seen Mustapha [Khayati], who returns very unhappy after having been present at the complete rout of his extraordinary hopes. I believe that he now agrees with the justness of practically everything that we had to say thereupon at Venice. One might have avoided two or three sessions used for this debate. And he might easily have avoided a year spent running with fury on a driveway. I do not know what his intentions are for the future. What is your impression?

Is Paolo coming soon to Paris? (I might be in Holland for several days, around 20 July.)

Where are you with the Italian journal? Here, the editorial committee isn't at all speedy and, what is more serious, more than a month of work still hasn't produced a text that is important and central to I.S. #13, even in an unfinished form.

I learn that you are still skillful at falling off motorcycles at great speeds. Bravo! As for the passengers, they thus practice for the future pleasures of the civil war.

Cordially yours,

Post-scriptum, of which I prefer not to keep a copy.

What Il Giorno says is slightly false, in the sense that the invasion was spontaneous and the group that found itself doing the most beautiful work was close to the SI[4] (it was formed around two or three former members of the C.M.D.O., who are very likable). On the contrary, it was a small intervention group from the SI that, the next day, completely broke up the great, calm rally of college students and high schoolers at the College of the Sciences; that succeded in making more than half of the spectators (three or four hundred people) go out to the street; that attacked a police motorcyclist, then a police car -- which unleashed two days of quite serious riots in the Latin Quarter. We also have a friend at Vincennes who is without doubt the only truly radical element in the whole place. The repression begins: new demonstrators are in prison, five or six others charged and thirty-five students expelled from the university for a year.

[1] See the letter to the Italian section of the SI from 2 June 1970. [Translator: in heavily coded language, Debord is referring to attempts to catch the Italian publisher De Donato unaware and beat him up for publishing a falsified translation of texts by "Vaneigam."]

[2] Rene Vienet.

[3] See the Note on an urgent and concrete question.

[4] Written in the margin: "It isn't implanted at Nanterre, but in Censier, the annex of the Sorbonne in the 5th arrondissment."

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

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