from Guy Debord

To Asger Jorn
2 July 1959
Dear Asger:

I was happy to receive the good news contained in your most recent letter.

I still haven't read La Somme et Le Reste [Sum and Remainder][1] but I am interested in your critique of the theory of "moments." Can you develop it in several pages? Everyone can't wait patiently for the completion of the No-Future! I believe that these reflections are at the heart of "situationist" problems. To the extent that they can elevated above the simple negativity of bourgeois avant-gardes, these problems exhibit the total perspective of an everyday life that is to be constructed in an always greater complexity. Each provisional formation of everyday life -- relatively "plannable," as you say, and at the level of details as well as at the level of the totality of its unfolding -- must unify falsely separated categories (love, play, expression, creative thought). And each of these formations -- as conscious and calculated as they can be, that is to say, brought into play with superior chances -- inevitably move towards their own reversal, because each one is entirely lived in time along with its negation and permanent supercession.

Philosophy as art -- and the necessity of their autonomous and permanent unity in both the conceptualizable and the perceptible -- move toward their dissolution in praxis (where it is a question of finding new modes of intermediary applications), not in the sub-literary anticipations of a Morin[2] or in the sub-poetic nostalgia of a Mascolo.[3] Both men have certainly understood diverse things, but they will not go beyond their current confusion. Mascolo is attached to the grotesque debris of surrealism. As for Morin, the other night I saw him preside over a debate on the cinema -- which does justice to the rigor of his thought: he is a pawn, like Fougeyrollas.[4] A certain unfortunate taste for the authority of the pulpit, it seems to me, explains a good part of their Stalinism and communal revisionism.

I only see interest in the thinking of L and G,[5] which nevertheless are to be completed (reciprocally as well as from other perspectives).


[1] By the philosopher Henri Lefebvre, published in April 1959.

[2] Edgar Morin, sociologist.

[3] Dionys Mascolo, author.

[4] Pierre Fougeyrollas, sociologist.

[5] [Henri] Lefebvre and [Lucien] Goldmann.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 1, 1957-1960. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2005.)

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