Giorgio Agamben | The Coming Community

Giorgio Agamben | The Coming Community (3) PDF

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Guy Debord
Letters to Giorgio Agamben

Champot, 24 August 1989

Dear Sir:
Thanks for the press clippings that you transmitted to me. I am happy to learn that Italy, despite certain quite serious obstacles, is better informed than France and several other countries, which are still at the moment of “Nashist”-museographical falsifications, laughably inaugurated by the burlesque “Pompidou Center.”
And most particularly because I myself have had the chance to learn much in Italy.
I send you a very recent book to complete your intelligent documentation.

Quite cordially,
Guy Debord



24 January 1990

Dear Giorgio Agamben:
I consent to the idea of publishing the two books in a single volume, but on the condition that they are in this order: Comments… (1988), followed by The Society of the Spectacle (1967), the first being printed in a slightly larger type.
Your preface will be very useful, at least in explaining the apparent paradox; and of course many other points, I have no doubt.
Since you will be in Paris in February, I propose that we get together on Monday the 12th at 5 pm at the bar of the Lutetia, which is at the far end of the hotel’s hall.

Quite amicably,
Guy Debord



16 February 1990

Dear Giorgio:

I send you a copy of my Italian preface from 1979. I have marked in it the various passages that, to me, best express the meaning of the book. And thus my consistency, which many could indeed call cynicism. This depends on the values that they accept and the vocabulary that they use. If in passing you evoke this preface in your preface, this would sufficiently compensate for its absence from this kind of collection of my writings about the spectacle, which would otherwise risk being noted and perhaps interpreted badly.
We were charmed to meet you, and I propose that we dine together as soon as you communicate to me the moment of your return here.




6 August 1990

Dear Giorgio I was a little worried when you recently asked me if I did not like the text that you added to my Comments, and I was especially angry because I remained unable to respond to you. No doubt you had difficulty believing that SugarCo still had not yet sent me a copy of the book, published in March [1990] and, moreover, did not send me one, despite an appeal from my Parisian publisher. It was indeed a quite surprising insolence. I have just received a copy, and only because an Italian friend has judged it useful to communicate it to me, along with the other edition (Agalev) from Bologna. Of course I was completely charmed as I read your Glosses. You have spoken so well, in all of your texts, of so many authors, chosen with the greatest taste (about which I am reassured, with the exception of several exotics of whom I am very regrettably ignorant and four or five contemporary Frenchmen whom I do not want to read at all), whom one finds inevitably honored with figuring in such a Pantheon. I was happy to have attempted — in 1967 and completely contrary to Althusser’s sombre denial — a kind of “salvage by transfer” of the Marxist method by adding to it a large dose of Hegel, at the same time as it reprised a critique of political economy that wanted to bear in mind the Marxist method’s ascertainable developments in our poor country, as they were foreseeable from what preceded them. And I greatly admire how you have very legitimately reached back to Heraclitus, with respect to the effectively total expropriation of language, which had previously been the “communal”! This is assuredly the right direction to take up the true task again, which had previously been called “putting the world back on its feet” and “philosophizing with a hammer.”

Quite amicably,
Guy Debord

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