from Guy Debord

To Michel Bounan
30 May 1991
Dear Michel:

The extraordinary ("impassioned/insincere") tone[1] of this pseudo-pederast is quite instructive, precisely because he wants to reproduce the cynical appearance of the reasoning of spectacular power, as well as its worthless psychology.

No doubt this person is employed by the network of disinformation that specializes in the treatment of advanced critique. I will take note.[2]

To hear "the sailor's song," one must be elsewhere, certainly.

See you soon,

[1] Of the reader's report made by Donald Nicholson-Smith for Verso Books, which refused to publish Michel Bounan's book The Time of AIDS, which was judged to be tainted by homophobia. [Translator: this reader's report has surfaced. Since we have not read Bounan's book, we are unable to comment on its alleged homophobia. However, we have translated Bounan's Incitement to Self-Defense (Editions Allia, 1995 and 2005), which contains remarks that forced us to indicate, by way of footnotes, that Bounan's understanding of homosexuality is quite limited, but not hostile or "phobic."]

[2] Translator's note: this is a very odd remark. Debord had taken note of Nicholson-Smith's "bitter discontent" as early as 27 May 1979, and, as recently as 20 November 1989, had told an employee of Editions Gerard Lebovici that "it is not necessary to accord any rights to this person." What Debord must have just realized is that Nicholson-Smith -- in addition to producing the translation of The Society of the Spectacle that, contrary to Debord's wishes, Zone Books wanted to bring out in 1990 -- was employed or at least associated with Verso Books, as well; and that this suggests that Verso's translations of Debord Comments on the Society of the Spectacle and Panegyric were tainted by the same "network of disinformation" that tainted Nicholson-Smith's translation of Spectacle. It is certainly our opinion that all of these translations are faulty; indeed, we have already offered an alternative translation of Comments on the Society of the Spectacle.]

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! January 2009. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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