from Guy Debord

To Gerard Lebovici
21 July 1977
Dear Gerard:

The quarrel between the New Philosophy and the old recuperation is admirable, and Claude Roy has not disappointed me by taking a position that bears a familial resemblance to the one taken by the young Semprun.[1]

I received the most recent edition of [The Society of the] Spectacle, with the mention of all its translations. Here is the perfect book to put the good new provisions of the honest Bourgadier[2] to the test. The hour arrives at which it will be necessary to pretend one likes this book if one does not like B.-H. Levy.[3]

I wonder if [Georges] Kiejman sincerely caved in or if he pretended to do so, so as to make use lose more time. If it was the former -- because he had heard about the other Levy[4] -- then it will be necessary to beat him while he is silent, so as to push our advantage with anger and verbal threats, and demand satisfactory results everywhere and as soon as possible. Because it is necessary to note the very worrisome coincidence of his use of the same crude strategy so as to destroy all of our business, by declaring the direct action that imposes itself to be impossible and by declaring that which appears to be outside the matter at hand to be difficult and complex. He operates in exactly the same fashion with respect to Buchet and Elisabeth,[5] which produces the most depressing effects in this particular affair.

The film by [Rene] Vienet must have some merit for it to warrant the hateful reactions of the Cahiers.[6] An article in L'Espresso directly accuses him of having spared Teng Hsiao-Ping[7] because Vienet wanted this man of the future to pay him! Although I think Vienet is capable of anything in his search for subsidies, and Teng, too, in his celestial bureaucratic delirium, this accusation nevertheless appears to be an idiotic calumny. The journalist claims that the film was also signed by two Chinese co-authors, who were functionaries of the Chinese embassy in Paris!

With respect to Italy, the repression is worse than what Guattari sings mezzo voce.[8] There are thousands of prisoners, and the Stalinists have finally signed their historical engagement, so that they will be the least compromised by the repression. It also appears that I have become annoyingly celebrated in that pleasant country. During the recent riots in Rome, situationist inscriptions covered the walls: in Venice I had to film with what Lentretien[9] calls celerity.

One tells me that there will also soon be publisher (I do not know which the publisher) a book entitled Indiani in citta[10] that concerns the inscriptions on the walls of Bologna. Might we not try to get an option on it?

I advance in my great cinematographic work,[11] a veritable outrage to the public, and perhaps the only one that it has lacked so far, despite deserving it. As it is necessary to compose with precision, I think that it would be better to pursue the redaction until the end of September, since our planning permits it. But, for now, would you not like to pass several days in Champot, around August? We now have a period of beautiful weather, after an inconceivable succession of storms. Naturally, I would only have need of the record-player the next time. As for Kriegspiel: from what you can.[12]

Best wishes,

[1] Translator's note: "Familial" in two senses of the word: reminiscent of and also related to. Claude Roy was Jaime Semprun's uncle.

[2] Gerard Bourgadier, tasked with dealing with the Sodis book distribution company.

[3] Translator's note: Bernard-Henri Levy was a leading "New Philosopher."

[4] The attorney Thierry Levy.

[5] Translator's note: Editions Buchet was the first publisher of Debord's The Society of the Spectacle. Elisabeth Gruet was an assistant director on Debord's film In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (1978).

[6] Article by Serge Toubiana about the film [by Rene Vienet] Chinese, one more effort if you would be revolutionaries, published in Les Cahiers du cinema, #278.

[7] Removed from office during the "Cultural Revolution," Teng returned to power in 1977.

[8] Felix Guattari. [Translator's note: in Italian, mezzo voce means "in a weeping voice."]

[9] Christian Lentretien, director of production at Simar Films.

[10] Indians in the City, by Egeria Di Nallo (Cappelli Editore, Bologna).

[11] Translator's note: In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

[12] Translator's note: give me what you you can of the money that derives from the sales of my cabinet game, Kriegspiel, which in German means "Game of War."

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1973-Decembre 1978 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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