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A Few Extra Remarks
on Guy Debord - Revolutionary


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Persona non grata

15.  l e n  b r a c k e n

of individuality in crazed people like him? The archetype of iconoclasm is a contradiction in terms. As for Gruel's beloved Elvis, my understanding is that he was connected all right, connected with the mafia and the Nixon White House!

MARCUS HAS NOT RESPONDED to the real content of my substantive objections to his treatment of Debord, nor have any of the people who have thus far commented on my book. To my mind, this shows me the degree to which Marcus and his readers are either ignorant of Marxist dialectics and historicity, or the degree to which they are such rabid structuralists that they would seek to censor these concepts. It's pretty damned dishonest to fail to mention the concept of irreversible time in Debord's Marxist historicity as outlined in Society of the Spectacle and then use the poorly translated phrase "the reversible connecting factor" from a minor essay to support a structuralist analysis such as Jung's activation of archetypes. This dishonesty is compounded when the alien principle of the "activation of archetypes" is said to be Debord's. One would think that the editors of an academic press like Harvard University Press would be more scrupulous than to allow such an erroneous identification and, perhaps even more importantly, lack of identification. In winding this up, I'll repeat I once loved Lipstick Traces - especially his interviews (reconstructed from notes, according to Greil, not taped), and for them, I'm grateful that Marcus and his "traces" exist. I too made mistakes in Guy Deobrd -Revolutionary, but only minor ones (mostly typos due to the fact that I was in Paris when the book went to press and never saw the galleys - these typos and minor errors will be rectified in the second edition).

AS FOR BROWN'S PREDICTION of the imminent obsolescence of my book, I will answer the points raised in turn:

  1. Kristen Ross' interview with Henri Lefebvre, published in October 79, was interesting in that the interviewer didn't challenge Lefebvre with Debord's (much more plausible) side of the story regarding the way the last fourteen paragraphs in Lefebvre's book on the Paris Commune corresponded, word for word, with the fourteen numbered theses authored by Debord, Kotanyi and Vaneigem. Kristen Ross' Fast Cars, Clean Bodies was very helpful to me in regard to "the reordering of French culture," as she puts it, in the Fifties and Sixties.
  1. Debord isn't being recuperated by the right as Brown erroneously charges. Although I don't know the man, or much about him, my sources in France tell me that Pierre Guillaume may have an ulterior motive in writing about Debord when he tries to imply that Debord supported the gas chambers because he didn't speak of them. Think about it . . .

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