from Guy Debord

To Asger Jorn
Tuesday 8 July 1958
Dear Asger:

Yesterday, I wrote you twice. But today I received your most recent letter, and I've learned that things at the printer have taken an extremely alarming turn.

Old Dragor, who I summoned to print your book by the end of the month, was the victim of an attack of delirium tremens, during which he mixed together all of the compositional leads of "Form and Signification" and "Charm and Mechanics," and tore the uncomposed parts of the manuscript with his teeth, crying out "Jorn is my ruin!" It appears that this was an atrocious spectacle.

In these conditions, Robert the linotypist -- the only one who can do real work in this joint -- said that he would leave. I made a very great effort to keep Robert on-board until your arrival, which I promised would be 17 July at the latest. He will compose what he can in the meantime. Without you, he won't be found there again.

Your arrival is indispensible and it is necessary that you envision staying several days so as to complete all of this urgent work before this printer goes bankrupt and its owner becomes institutionalized.

I insist on the fact that you must meet me before going to Dragor's shop. I will explain to you several items that we must turn to account for the financial settlement of this affair.

I expect you in 8 or 10 days. Amicably,

P.S. 1) I've had the money sent to Left Bank.

2) As to Guglielmi[1]: it's too late to back off. It is necessary to attack [his enemies] even more thoroughly.

We have never defended Guglielmi's personality but a principle: he isn't crazy because of the gesture for which he is reproached (it doesn't matter if he is really crazy to others. This would be a bad excuse for letting things be). The methods employed against him by others (cf. those that you revealed to the newspapers) are odious and prove that one can't see him as an inoffensive nut: everyone finds these methods to be normal, we are the only ones to denounce them. And it is not necessary to respect the conventional notion of madness more than that of Catholicism.

[1] An Italian painter who had been interned at an insane asylum in Milan for pasting a revolutionary tract to the glass protecting Raphael's The Coronation of the Virgin. On 4 July 1958, the Italian section of the Situtionist International published Difendete la liberta ovunque [Defend Freedom Everywhere]; and, on 7 July 1958, the French section of the SI published Au secours de Van Guglielmi [Stand by Van Guglielmi].

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

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