from Guy Debord

To Mimma F.[1]
Saturday 9 December 1972
Dear Mimma:

I only received your express letter of 2 December yesterday, at the end of the afternoon; the post office here has been on strike almost as long as in Italy (I find that, when you write, you write very well).

I have immediately sent you a telegraphic money order for five hundred francs, because I suppose that, in the current troubles, you might lack money. Tell me if you have indeed received this money order: any sending of money from one country to another is very complicated and limited.

I am desolate that you have been unhappy in the last few weeks. But I have complete confidence in you to judge what must be done with intelligence and courage, and that everything that you do will be good. I am sure that you truly haven't gone down the road of madness, but down the opposite road and I can help you if you will permit it. "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita . . . la diritta via era smarrita."[2] We will re-find it, I promise you.

Note the following points seriously:

1) Before you encounter any difficulties, you must write or telephone me, without letting too many days pass, so as to ask for the help you need.

2) If things get worse, materially or "psychologically," immediately come here with the children. This will perhaps be a little uncomfortable (and especially for their studies), but there aren't any real difficulties involved in this, and it would be much more gay than the Corso Italia at the moment. And, before two months have gone by, you can return to Florence.

3) At the least, you must come here immediately and spend several days (since you do not work, it suffices to find a sister who can occupy herself with the children for a few days). If you can arrange this, telegraph your agreement immediately, and I will send you a plane ticket -- which can be sent abroad more easily than money. I believe that this voyage will make you feel a little better. And I always have such a longing to see you!

Beyond this, I can return to Italy at the end of January [1973]. Between now and then, it is necessary for me to complete the negotiations on the conditions for a film [The Society of the Spectacle] that I must make in the next year. It is something in the genre of my writings, but which, however, will furnish a quite large amount of money, as the era has become strange. Which is quite opportune, because it seems that we will have need of it. It will be necessary for me to spend around three months in Paris in 1973 to complete this film (the rest of the preparation can be done while in Italy). I will choose the precise period and I would love to envision this with you, according to your projects, the school year and the children's planned vacations, etc.

If you come to Paris now, I can charge you with looking for an apartment [for me] in Florence, starting 1 February [1973]. It is better to envision the details verbally. I have had no news from Gianfranco [Sanguinetti] for several weeks and furthermore I would prefer that you occupy yourself in this affair [rather than him] for several reasons.

Truly try to come now. In every way, I love you.

See you soon,

P.S. I believe that it is better to type on the machine. I made a great effort -- and perhaps fruitlessly -- to write by hand in a legible manner. So as to give you practice on the illegible, you have here a letter from Alice [Becker-Ho].[3] Your discovery of the acanthus leaves,[4] which bring luck, is a good sign.

The house must be relatively isolated, that is to say:

not in a village
nor immediately at the side of a road
nor closer to another house than two hundred meters
nor with a view of some horrible modern construction.

It must be eighty to a hundred years old but, beyond that, no objection to houses that date back to the 14th century.

If sufficies that it includes two rooms and a large kitchen, the comfort can be rudimentary, but it is necessary that it is susceptible to being remodeled in this regard. Naturally, it can be larger.

If possible, at the top of a hill.

If it is in a wooded region, so much the better.

The house of Cecina's uncle is a perfect example but ours can not attain those dimensions. It isn't necessary to have grounds around it and even the vines of chianti classico are indispensible.

It must be south of Florence and south of the Arno [River] within a radius of ten to thirty-five kilometres from Florence (the wooded region where we stopped the car to listen to Vivaldi would be particularly adequate). It must be closer than the frightful Poggibonsi; for example, in the valley of Elisa, the valley of Pesa, around Greve, Le Bolle, Casciano or east of Greve at the Arno.

According to our calculations, we must find this for a million Lira or less. But if it is particularly beautiful, we can go higher.

[1] A Florentine woman. "She who was there like a stranger in her town." (In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.)

[2] First verse of The Inferno by Dante. [Translator: "Half-way through our life . . . We lost our way in the woods."]

[3] Translator: not included in the Fayard edition.

[4] At the side of the door opening on the Garden of Pieve.

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

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