from Guy Debord

To Rene Riesel
Copies to all the people concerned
7 September 1971

I have learned -- from Jean-Marc -- that your wife, whom, as you certainly know, I consider to be, on the intellectual plane, a miserable cunt, and, on the "aesthetic" plane, a cow, has pretended that one day I asked to go to bed with her. This braggart is far above her means, as we once said of Claude Gallimard.[1]

Over the course of nearly three years, and in nearly half of the cases that we have encountered your wife -- such encounters fortunately being rare (not by chance) -- Alice and I have not reacted to diverses advances, leering glances or squeezes of the hand, made in the crudest and most archaic manner, which all those who were there, and even you, have not been able to avoid noticing. Several months ago, Alice once jumped her and has not wanted to repeat the experience for a simple reason: your wife, because she doesn't know at what moment it is fitting to simulate [orgasm] when she makes love with a woman -- whereas she obviously knows when to do it when it is a question of the duped young men that she has been acquainted with -- claimed, against all probability, that she had come. Much later, Alice made her admit the lie; and the sad mentality that this [lie] revealed sufficed to let things remain where they were.

No one can ignore the fact that you are quite unfortunate at home, with the result that you put up with a quantity of things, sadly when you sense the burlesque, and joyously when you believe, as a little executive who lives a little better than his salary guarantees -- in your case, to tell the truth, no salary and even less guarantee! -- that this will be considered to be chic. From this derives the petty and skimpy aspect of your "private" life, the false admirations and the real sourness that you display as a couple -- one senses that, at every turn, you are so envious, actually having almost everything to envy in comparison with everyone -- [and] the gloomy boredom that you spread everywhere you are. At the age that others enter life, you have already retired from it! At the age that certain people leave their family, you suffer in silence from one of the most comic familial oppressions. One doesn't surprise oneself by discovering, in this context, the prompt suffocation (cf. your very slight participation in the editing of I.S. #13) of your theoretical capacities, if this last word isn't too strong, in the only domain that you have just now begun to know: revolutionary politics. Today, a thousand pro-situs are stronger than you are and, among the situ[ationist]s recently put back in their places, several appear less likely [than you] to make everyone laugh.

You know very well that you have covered up, at the level of family life, many small lies, without mentioning the ridiculous exaggerations and stupid interpretations, while counting on the pity of your entourage or deluding yourself with the illusion that others do not notice them. But this last pure lie is too much. I denounce it publically, which immediately obliges you to live up to your responsibilties and submit to all the consequences.


(Printed on the letterhead of the Situationist International.)

[1] See letter to Claude Gallimard, dated 16 January 1969.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 4, 1969-1972. Translated from the French and footnoted by NOT BORED! June 2005.)

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