from Guy Debord

To Jacques Le Glou
Monday, 6 May [1974]
Dear Jacques:

The foul Krivine-the-Cravat[1] must henceforth be called Krivine-the-Coat.[2] His sole rival in this disaster, at the "macro" level, would be Mitterand. According to what I saw last evening on the TV, even [Georges] Marchais appealed to a great "assembly of the French people," and overtly became Gaullist and seduced Sanguinetti[3] -- a literally obscene operation in the eyes of the public. I believe that the Stalinists[4] have already accepted -- or chosen -- the failure of Mitterand.[5] They now prepare themselves for the VIth Republic, the return of the IVth under Giscard [d'Estaing]; when necessary, anti-Atlanticism can bring together the negative votes of the P.C.F./"preserved Gaullism."

Arlette,[6] who has shined, and Dumont,[7] who has not, have nevertheless assembled upon fragmentary truths [a total of] 4% of the electoral body. It has been a long time since one has seen such a notable sum total, and on such an unfortunate terrain. As for the carrion of the Left, if they won a few centrist votes, they lost their own; and truly they went all-out to get such a result and will continue to do so until [the next round of elections on] 19 May.

You irritated me a little, the other evening, by evoking my next departure! That babe [nana], from whom it is not so easy to escape, obviously did not know where I was going and when. I had no reason to narrate my life story to her; and she did not fail to have the indiscretion to ask me more so that she could hear a little more about my voyages. Fortunately, it all passed quickly.

The Portuguese -- profiting from the current "democracy" there" -- have telephoned me that they now how to release the film[8] in Portugal. One can wonder if they will have the time to do so. I have also learned that Ratgeb[9] has run off, not to Lisbon -- obligatory provincialism -- but to Porto, where his two partisans have lived for the last four years and whom the other Portuguese have accused of dissipation over the years! If things turned towards revolution, or more simply to repression, before Ratgeb got back on his train to return to his office, there would have been 6 or 7 Portuguese who would have had the occasion to experience the utility of Ratgeb's thinking in concrete circumstances.

I have attached the following for you:

1. notes for your introduction.[10] Make use of them as you like. But, if you believe that you can evoke the rock[11] of the hooligans who speal of Krivine and Chaban, I would be thrilled;

2. notes for songs 2, 4, 5, 6, and 10.[12]

Contrary to what we said the other night about the name of the historian: it is not necessary to give [him] a false name. One need not sign the real ones. It suffices for you to sign "the introduction" -- in another typography -- for example, completely printed on the side of the jacket; then, after the signature, print the 11 notes in two columns, as is customary (perhaps in a slightly large type). As for the notes on the books, this information -- not signed -- can pass for being drafted by the publisher, by you or your "brain-trust."[13] In fact, you will have the "moral responsibility." But this is very easy, because one never writes phrases such as "the talent of Jacques Le Glou consists in. . . ." Simply and coldly describe the content of the songs (in comparison with the Dutronc[14] originals or others). No difficulty writing praise; the songs themselves will be sufficient.

I hope that you will entice/induce Pia[15] [to get involved]. Send me the rest of the information at the mountain [address]; also for the film (and the press-clippings that you find). If anyone asks you where I am, ignore them. But everyone can write me at 239, rue Saint-Martin; the post will follow me here.

Best wishes,

P.S. [Gerard] Lebovici, always at the height of happiness, tells me that a jealous person has written about the cinema: "Debord, you would have been better off keeping quiet." I said that the response should simple be, "Like you!" It also appears that the purists are surprised and shocked -- not with the theses of the book, of which they always claim to approve -- but that I have made so rich a film, so visibly "super-production," etc. It is good that film impresses people more than books. I rejoice in this.

[1] Alain Krivine obtained .36% of the votes in the presidential elections. [Translator's note: Krivine was a leading member of the (Trotskyist) Revolutionary Communist League and reputedly one of the "leaders" of the May 1968 riots in Paris.]

[2] Translator's note: Krivine was previously known as Krivine-the-Cravat due to his elegant manner of dress; Krivine-the-Coat [Krivine-la-Veste] is a punning reference to the expression remporter une veste, which means to suffer a set-back.

[3] The U.D.R. Minister, Alexander Sanguinetti. [Translator's note: U.D.R. stands for Union pour la Defense de la Republique, the party of Charles de Gaulle.]

[4] Translator's note: the French Communist Party (P.C.F.), of which Georges Marchais was the General Secretary.

[5] Translator's note: Francois Mitterand, leader of the Socialist Party.

[6] Arlette Laguiller, of Workers' Voice, received 2.33% of the vote.

[7] Rene Dumont, who brought the ecologist current to the political chessboard for the first time, obtained 1.32% of the votes.

[8] Translator's note: The Society of the Spectacle.

[9] Pseudonym adopted by Raoul Vaneigem for his book From the Wildcat Strike to Generalized Self-management (1974).

[10] For the recording, To have done with work.

[11] Translator's note: English in original.

[12] "The Street of the Good Children," "The Days of May," "Life Flows Away," "The Submachine Gun" and "Song of the CMDO" (songs detourned by Guy Debord [#2 and #4], Raoul Vaneigem, Jacques Le Glou and Alice Becker-Ho.)

[13] Translator's note: English in original.

[14] Translator's note: Jacques Dutronc, French rock 'n' roll musician who (nevertheless) mocked 1960s French "youth culture."

[15] The singer Pia Colombo.

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

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