from Guy Debord

To Mustapha Khayati
Friday [9 September 1966]
Dear Mustapha:

Alas for the apartment! Jean [Garnault] did not want to participate in it, whereas Herbert [Holl] had searched so that you three could live together (the rent was 80,000). Moreover, so as to pay for this apartment that he had reserved, he needed financial help from Jean immediately and this was impossible. Jean prefers to extricate himself so that he can subsequently live by himself. Thus, Herbert has recommenced his search, but this time for you and him only.

Concerning the neo-Strasbourgeois, this is good. Although the affair is at the moment discussed and accepted in principle, it is necessary that it is concluded practically.

Here are my conclusions:

1) In no case will we accept less than 400,000 [Francs]. 500,000 would be better, but this is a detail. Limited date, end of September.

2) On their part, it is absolutely necessary to link this diversion [detournement] to the production of a scandalous pamphlet,[1] boiled down in length -- and even, at worst, boiled down in content to the acceptable minimum. Therefore, the people who know how to quote the SI, with fifteen solid quotations can already justify a pamphlet. All the same, I hope that they have a little more spirit and you can help them. Attached is a project (absolutely not drafted) for a beginning; it is, rather, a shocking way of taking the beasts[2] from the front. The style must be quite cold and impassive. The first question must pose itself as obvious.

3) Agreed on a receipt. There are thus two possibilities.

a) A sum so that the SI can publicize their pamphlet (that is to say, what we would do in any case).

b) The same sum, deposited to one of us (officially Jean [Garnault] or Theo [Frey]*), whom they have engaged, not as "editor" but as "adviser," as an expert to furnish them with all the facts on the subject that they judge to be urgent to treat: alienation in modern society. You know that Nietzsche presented himself as the first global expert in matters of decadence. It would be good if we cynically assume this function as a real trade and in a more organized-combative perspective.

I much prefer this second variant.


* Perhaps not Theo, if he remains in Strasbourg? Not a foreigner. I personally can assume this function. Or Rene [Vienet]?

[1] This would become On the Poverty of Student Life, published at the expense of the National Union of French Students (U.N.E.F.).

[2] Understood as the "herd of students."

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 3, 1965-1968. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! August 2005.)

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