Internationale Situationniste. Debat d’orientation de l’ex-Internationale Situationniste. Paris: Centre de Recherche sur la Question Sociale (CRQS), 1974.

Scarce compilation of 35 internal documents of the SI debating possible strategies in the aftermath of May 1968. The documents were published between 26 August 1969 and 28 January 1971 and are chiefly in French, with two documents in English.

The Debat d’orientation contains a series of written texts, some deeply theoretical in nature, that served as a basis for a series of meetings held by members of the Situationist International in 1969 and 1970. They help understand the growing divides among the remaining members of the organization, and lay the ground for the dissolution of the SI a few years later. As Bill Brown remarks, the debate “was accompanied by a slew of exclusions…and resignations”, with most members of the American and French sections (or whatever was left of them at that point in time)  departing the group, voluntarily or not. In many way, the Debat is an indispensable companion to La Veritable Scission dans l’Internationale Situationniste (Paris: Champ Libre, 1972), which gives Debord and Sanguinetti’s (biased) perspective on the events that led to the “real split” in 1972.

As must be clear by now, these internal documents were not meant for publication. Brown notes that “when such a collection was finally put together by a fan of the situationists named Daniel Denevert and submitted to Editions Champ Libre, Guy Debord declined to help and Champ Libre turned the book down”. It was not until 1974 that Joel Cornuault, an early translator and publisher of Ken Knabb’s works in French, compiled them into an 80-page, primarily type-written mimeographed volume. The thin volume was circulated in small numbers within the Parisian pro/post-situationist milieu of the early to mid-1970s.

Unlike most other texts by the SI, the Debat d’orientation de l’ex-Internationale Situationniste cannot be found in full online. At some point in time, it had been made available by Franck Einstein here, but the link has been dead for a few years (and the original text may not have even been complete to begin with). For now, select letters have been reposted at Debord-encore. Remarkably, however, a complete English language translation – primarily the work of Bill Brown, with contributions by Ken Knabb and a few others – may be found here.

There appears to have been a reprint by Editions du Cercle Carre in 2000 (see here). However, we find no record of this edition on either OCLC or in the trade.

 

We locate 5 OCLC copies at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (BnF), Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve, Nanterre’s BDIC, UC-Berkeley, and Michigan.

Ford 32. Gonzalvez 146.

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