from Raoul Hausmann

To Guy Debord
24 March 1963
Sir:

Yesterday I received the 8 issues of your journal, I[nternationale] S[ituationniste].

I thank you, [because] while your so kind and serious letter of 31 March,[1] which distinguished itself so favorably from the letters by Mr Kunzelmann, which mocked Dadaism -- without knowing about it -- and which insulted me personally, without knowing anything about me.

For the sake of Dadaism, allow me to make several remarks: the world appeared unshakeable and assured for always when the War of 1914 broke out. Then followed the Russian Revolution and the fall of the German Empire (because the change of regime in Germany was not a revolution).

While Dada in Switzerland was an aesthetic riot (see the Diaries of Hugo Ball), the reprise of Dada in Berlin in 1918 was founded on human conflicts and psychological experiments, which we defined in our journal Die Freie Strasse,[2] which was of an anti-Freudian tendency.

This was a poetic revolutionary situation in a larger situation that was also revolutionary, but not at all poetic.[3]

Because the new Socialist system intended to liquidate the Communist danger by distributing 300,000 positions in the administration, and this was why such a large number of Germans chose Socialism.

Despite everything, this poetic situation of Dada in Berlin represented a singular effort that surpassed the stages of Zurich and Paris. Nevertheless, the Dadaist movement in Berlin, combated by the other Dadaist tendencies and without the real possibility of placing itself in the forefront of the German situation, had to abandon its creative efforts in 1921. The particular situation of Club Dada in Berlin has never been clearly studied. I strive to do so in my new book Chances, or the End of Neo-Dadaism.

It is vain to want to revive a Situation that was valid 45 years ago. And especially when the people who occupy themselves with this "restoration" are only chefs who do not know how to cook.

Naturally, you are right: the UR fascicle by the Lettrists was published in 1951. I possess [a copy of] it.

Desiring that you are capable of "creating" situations, I send you the expression of my sympathy.

Raoul Hausmann.

[1] Letter to Hausmann from Debord dated 31 March 1963.

[2] The Free Street.

[3] The Spartakist uprising of January-March 1919.


(Given to Marc Dachy by Guy Debord and deposited at Fonds Guy Debord, created by Christian Bourseiller at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! July 2007. Footnotes by the translator.)




To Contact NOT BORED!
Info@notbored.org