An acerbic exchange with the Claude Gallimard. From Internationale Situationniste #12 (September 1969).
Note from translator
Here is the latest of my test translations. This is the last article from Internationale Situationniste 12.
It was actually quite fun to work on – the high point being the final realisation as to what the phrase “Tu l’as dans le cul.” probably equated to in English. My solution: ”Stick it up your arse!”. May not be literal – but I think the sentiment is definitely the same.
This translation is a first draft, and has not been independently proofread. However, to the best of my knowledge this text has never been translated into English. Therefore I am making it available in this form with the caveat that there are likely to be mistakes in it. PLEASE APPROACH IT WITH CAUTION!
Draft 0.1 (revised 19 July 2013)
Correspondence with an Editor
SI to Mr Claude Gallimard
5, rue Sébastien-Bottin, Paris 7e
Paris, January 16, 1969
We have learned that last week, in the home of a certain Sergio Veneziani, a man named Antoine Gallimard talked to several people (who later informed us) about the Situationists and their relationship with Maison Gallimard. This idiot said that ‘the Situationists’ had made several offers to him, amongst them a collection which he had to “reject”, and that the Situationists, as a whole, were “employees” of Maison Gallimard, or were about to become such.
This bidet-scrubber was obviously deluded, but he may only have been peddling such hopes because you had confided them to him.
As the failed son of your own father, you will not be surprised to find that in the next generation the debilities have worsened.
The twerp naturally identifies himself, in his own turn, with your own low position – because like you he hopes to inherit it.
This boasting is beyond your means.
So far two Situationists have had a book published by your house. You will never again meet any more Situationists and, from the two in question, you’ll never have another book.
You are so stupid and so wretched that it is useless to add anything more insulting.
For the SI :
Guy Debord, Mustapha Khayati, René Riesel, René Viénet
Paris January 17, 1969
Mr. René Viénet
Your letter was all great fun, and this isn’t so useless in an era that wants to take itself deadly seriously.
I found it amusing that you have just now discovered that I am the son of my father; as to whether I have failed my parents or succeeded, I am surprised that you hadn’t already thought about that when you entered into an agreement with me to publish your books.
Your conception of heredity gave me an idea (you may think that amazing), but if my son is even dumber than me, and I than my father, then your own grandfather was without doubt a genius, or have you never spoken with him?
But to be serious for a second, I have known you to be very serious in the domain of research, in this case you seem to hold on to anonymous and incomplete second-hand accusations.
Since you like amusement, do not you think we could have a drink with the forenamed Antoine Gallimard who, feeble as he is, does not lack humor, and we could insult each other with joy, because there is no foundation in your letter to change our relationship. Of course if you can bring your friends to this little meeting it would be a nice change to my workaday life, and I’d be delighted.
L’I.S. à Claude Gallimard
Paris, January 21, 1969
You have few reasons to find our letter of January 16 to be amusing. You are even more mistaken to believe you will be able to come to an arrangement, or to even meet us for a drink.
Our witnesses are straight, sure, and well known to us. We told you that you will never get one more book from a situationist. That’s all.
Stick it up your arse. Forget us.
For the SI :
Christian Sébastiani, Raoul Vaneigem, René Viénet
Translated by Ian Thompson (July 2013). From https://isinenglish.com/2013/07/09/likely-to-be-inaccurate-translation-1/