from Jean-Pierre Baudet

To Jaime Semprun
Paris, 5 April 1987
Dear Jaime:

I thank you for your long letter,[1] but I will respond with something shorter. To take up your terms, the esteem that you have for my intelligence has made you write a long letter; and it is the esteem that I have for yours that dissuades me from making much of this matter at present: I do not at all believe that it is useful to explain to you what you have certainly understand well. Moreover, it is no longer timely to refute incorrect interpretations (deliberate or accidental) of my letter; to nuance or reformulate such remarks; to make precise or justify such a particular intention: all this would obviously be feasible in an open discussion, but ours is rather closed. You have decided to bail out the entirety of Guy Fargette's text,[2] as I have decided to reject it, and if I now would have indulged in a short-lived attempt to mend things, which is something that I at first envisioned doing, this would have only served to occult under a new layer of more or less discussible details the essential reality (in short, quite simple) of the casus belli. Therefore, it has mattered to me to refuse that someone -- before Masperizing[3] tracts -- has Fargettized the activity and the anger of some protagonists of December [19]86. I have given my reasons, as frankly as possible; I do not believe I have to give better ones to a public that has no need of them. They have not convinced you, which can be an agurment against them. But Fargette's blunders have not been more convincing to you and I find this infinitely more surprising. You certainly have the right to criticize my manner of reacting and you might be wrong or right. But you can have no reason to defend what Fargette wrote, and I find sincerely deplorable those who, the next time, will bring down the schoolteacher's blow upon others who want "to attempt what one perceives as possible, if one has not seen another, rather than doing nothing" (these are your words), and, doing so, can feel themselves supported by Jaime Semprun, or even by the Encyclopedia of Nuisances.

In this, you have also taken risks and these will certainly not demonstrate "the validity that there was to take them."


[1] See letter from Semprun to Baudet dated 2 March 1987.

[2] Guy Fargette's text concerned the attempted occupation of the Sorbonne and the erection of street barricades on 6 December 1986. See Baudet's letter to Fargette dated 22 February 1987.

[3] Editions Maspero was a publishing house in the 1960s and 1970s that the situationists condemned for butchering the texts that they published. Guy Fargette "masperized" the appeal to the general population issued after the occupation of the Sorbonne, which was co-authored by Jean-Pierre Baudet and Jean-Francois Martos.

(Published in Jean-Francois Martos, Correspondance avec Guy Debord, Le fin mot de l'Histoire, August 1998. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! June 2007. Footnotes by the translator.)

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