Publishing history

There is scarce truth enough alive to make societies secure; but security enough to make fellowships accurst. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every day’s news.

(William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act III Scene II, lines 216-220)

It appears that the idea for the Truthful Report had its roots in conversations that Gianfranco Sanguinetti had with Guy Debord in the second half of 1972, that is to say, after the two men wrote, signed and published the document that officially dissolved the Situationist International (cf. La Véritable Scission dans L’Internationale, Editions Champ Libre, April 1972).

Sanguinetti probably began writing the text (then provisionally entitled The Class Struggles in Italy) some time after 3 January 1973, which was when Debord sent him a letter that sketched out its seven chapters and their respective topics. Debord also offered the following suggestion. “I believe the assured tone of Machiavelli, almost a parody of his chapter titles and many of his phrases, would produce a magnificent effect.” A comparison of Debord’s sketch and the final version of the book would show that Sanguinetti adopted all of his friend’s suggestions.

Sanguinetti completed most of the manuscript by March 1975. The rest was finished in May and June. Debord began his translation of the manuscript into French in July, and finished it in October.

Attributed to Censor, Rapporto verdico sulle ultima opportunita di salvare il capitalismo in Italia was first published in Italian by Bergio Scotti Camuzzi in Milan in July 1975. At first, only five hundred and twenty copies were printed. Each copy was numbered and then sent to an equal number of well-chosen Italian politicians, industrialists, union leaders and journalists. In October 1975, the book was reprinted by Ugo Mursia and sold on the commercial market. Thanks to the reviews that it received in the press, the book sold very well, and Mursia reprinted it twice to meet the demand. In January 1976, Sanguinetti wrote and published Prova dell’inesistenza di Censore, enunciate dal suo autore which revealed that Censor did not exist and that he himself had written it. A scandal ensued. As before, Debord translated the Proofs of the Non-Existence of Censor from Italian into French.

In January 1976, Editions Champ Libre published both texts (plus selections from the book’s reviews in the Italian press) in a single volume entitled Veridique rapport sur les dernieres chances de sauver le capitalisme en Italie. In February 1976, under great pressure from the newspapers and the police, Sanguinetti left Italy and attempted to re-enter France, from which he’d been previously deported in 1971. Refused entry, he was sent to Switzerland, which tried to deport him, but failed to do so. Later in 1976, of his own volition, he returned in Italy, where he went on to write Remedy for Everything.

The first English translation of the Rapporto verdico was published by Flatland Books in 1997 under the title The Real Report on the Last Chances to Save Capitalism in Italy. Translated from the Italian by Len Bracken, this version of Sanguinetti’s book included none of the material found in the French version, nor the statement concerning Sanguinetti's plight that Debord wrote and Editions Champ Libre had published anonymously in Le Monde.

Finding this translation to be both substandard and incomplete, NOT BORED! made a completely new one between July and October 2004 – mind you, using Debord’s French version, not the Italian original. This translation included all the material that appeared in the Champ Libre version of 1976, added footnotes when necessary for the reader’s comprehension of certain references and allusions, and tried to preserve Censor’s sentence structure. In those instances where Sanguinetti quoted from other books, NOT BORED! either quoted from them directly (if they were originally written in English), consulted well-respected translations of them (if they were originally written in Latin or left in Italian by Debord), or, if those existing translations seemed faulty, corrected them. In April 2005, this new translation was thoroughly proofread and copy-edited.

In August and September 2012, finding its own translation to be unsatisfactory, NOT BORED! translated the book from scratch. This new and much improved translation is the one that has been uploaded here, in place of the “original” one.