from Guy Debord

To Mikis Anastassiadis
5 August 1980
Dear comrade:

I have found your second letter upon returning to the address above[1] (where I will be until the beginning of October and from which the mail will follow me), before I responded to the first one. Excuse me. I have only transmitted to Champ Libre the list of books to send you. I now leave for Spain, where we will try to do something: I hope that you receive a document on this affair next month.

Thank you for the Greek books, and the list of corrections. I will be happy if you can continue to make connections. Despite my taste for Heraclitus, Thucydides and many others, I do not know Greek unfortunately. Thirty or forty words perhaps, and your modern typography disconcerts me even more. But I have a dictionary, and one can discuss etymological questions to the letter: for example, I do not get the nuance between the two translations of the word "spectacle" in the title. In French, "spectacle" has the merit of being linked to the Latin speculum and thus to mirror, to the inverted image, to the concept of speculation, etc.

More modestly, I propose to clarify for you the nuances of the French text[2] when you encounter doubts, and especially in the case of the detournements. For example, the first phrase of the book evokes the first phrase of Capital. If, in Greek, a good translation of Capital is already recognized in a clearly dominant manner, it would be good to adopt as much as possible the words of this existing translation, which will awake an echo in the memories of certain readers. There are many problems of this kind in the book, whether it is a question of Shakespeare or other authors. There are even -- and here it would be more imperative -- quotations or detournements of Greek authors (for example, the first phrase of the Histories of Herodotus[3]).

I hope that, for the third [Greek] edition, you will find the best publisher possible, and the best will be the one that scrupulously follows your text.

So far, the Preface[4] has been translated into Italian, English and Spanish, at least to my knowledge. No doubt you know that Gianfranco's book[5] has already seen a second French edition. Thus, pseudo-terrorism begins to find a small antidote at the moment that the French government advances down the road of creating its own "Red Brigade." As far as the Italians, the most recent news has it that they seem to prefer to return to the image of "fascist" terrorism.

Quite amicably,

[1] In Auvergne.

[2] Translator's note: The Society of the Spectacle, which Mikis Anastassiadis was translating into Greek.

[3] "Herodotus of Halicarnasse here presents the results of his investigations, so that time will not annul the works of men and that the great exploits accomplished by the Greeks and the Barbarians do not fall into oblivion."

[4] Translator's note: Debord's Preface to the Fourth Italian Edition of "The Society of the Spectacle" (1979).

[5] Translator's note: Gianfranco Sanguinetti's On Terrorism and the State (1979).

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 6: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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