from Guy Debord

To Jean-Pierre Baudet
11 July 1987
Dear Jean-Pierre:

You have very exactly defined for me the minimum work that remains to be done on Clausewitz.[1] Thus I will work on it the best I can; be tranquil.

I find that your analysis of the Encyclopedia[2] is extremely just and profound, and has the great merit of designating the nature of a kind of trap that, up to a certain point, almost everyone (myself included) risks being captured by. "Becoming is the truth of being,"[3] and what this enterprise becomes is exactly described by you. The little I know of [Jaime] Semprun's personality, which Jeff [Jean-Francois Martos] can relate to you, accords quite well with your hypothesis. You see that, finally, it was worth the difficulty of picking out the Fargette affair.[4] This stitch caused all that pretentious knitting.

Today I received from Jeff the crushing document from the Parliamentary Inquest.[5] It appears to me that the citations that are made in it, mixed with almost all of your letter,[6] would constitute an excellent pamphlet, sufficient and definitive: [perhaps to be called] The Last Things of An Encyclopedia?[7]

I once read the Russian campaign[8] and told Gerard [Lebovici] that this translation could not be used in any case. It is unfortunately not by Niessel, but a captain of dragons, a commissioned staff officer.[9] This Ubu boasts very loudly of having simplified and rendered much clearer Clausewitz's text, his Masperization[10] having delivered it from his hazy Prussian metaphysics. One believed they heard [Eduard] Bernstein deploring the fact that Marx never managed to get rid of the Hegelian dialectic. But the ex-king of Poland, more victorious, escaped all this through a trap door!

The information about Action D[irecte], General Audran,[11] etc., is pleasing. The most extraordinary thing is to find Millet-la-Poulaille[12] at the origin of these revelations.

Best wishes,

[1] Translating Vom Kriege (On War) from German into French.

[2] The Encyclopedia of Nuisances was founded in 1984 by Jaime Semprun and Christian Sebastiani.

[3] Hegel.

[4] See letter from Baudet to Fargette dated 22 February 1987.

[5] Concerning the student protest-movement of December 1986.

[6] See letter from Baudet to Debord dated 3 July 1987.

[7] In Catholic eschatology, the last things one should focus on before dying: death, judgment, heaven and hell.

[8] Carl von Clausewitz, The Campaign of 1812 in Russia.

[9] M. Begouen, Commanding Captain of the Dragons.

[10] A neologism, derived from Editions Maspero, which designates a text that has been butchered or falsified by its publisher.

[11] General Rene Audran was assassinated on 25 January 1985 by a group claiming to be Action Directe.

[12] Gilles Millet, then a journalist for Liberation.

(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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