DEBORD, GUY. Signed autograph postcard dated 02/02/[1959] to “Cher ami” [Noel Arnaud]. n.p. [Paris, France], Feb. [1959?]. 1 p. (one-sided); 14.5 x 12 cm.; ill. B&W photograph. Not in “Correspondance”

DEBORD, GuySigned, undated autograph note-card to [Noel] Arnaud. n.p. [Paris, France], n.d. [1958]. 11 x 15.5 cm.; black ink on cream stock. Not in “Correspondance”

DEBORD, Guy. Signed autograph postcard to Noel Arnaud, post-stamped 24/1/1959. n.p. [Paris, France]: n.d. [Jan. 1959]. 1 p. (two-sided); ill.; 25 x 9.5 cm.; B&W photograph of the Eglise de la Madeleine. Not in “Correspondance”.

All three postcards relate to the conference/debate “Is Surrealism alive or Dead”, which took place at the Cercle Ouvert on Tuesday, November 18, 1958. Debord wrote about it in an unsigned article published in Internationale Situationniste (see

The first postcard, dated 2 February [1959] and written on the back of a photograph taken in the Palais du facteur Cheval on 14 April 1955, discusses the second issue of Bief, fonction surrealiste from 15 December 1958, in which Gerard Legrand writes about the conference/debate in an an article entitled Les Faux-parleurs

This last postcard is important because it shows that Debord did try to follow up with Arnaud, as he had promised in late December 1958 (see below). Whether that encounter actually happened is uncertain, since the postcard was delivered to Arnaud’s address in Aix en Provence, not in Paris.

Thank you to a kind reader for providing additional relevant details.


Noel Arnaud and Guy Debord first came into contact in 1956 through the Lettristes’ collaboration in the periodical “Les Levres nues”. In a letter to Frankin dated 28 December 1958, Debord expresses his disappointment at Noel Arnaud’s affiliation with Pataphysics (“N.Arnaud est donc pataphysicien. Regrettable” – Corr. Vol 1., p172). The next day, Debord sends Arnaud a letter acknowledging his new years’ wishes but declining an encounter (“Merci de vos veux…Malheureusement, je quitte Paris demain, pour a peu pres un mois. Je vous ferai signe des mon retour. Bien a vous, G-E. Debord.- Corr. Vol. 1, p. 172). This letter is important because it is the only one between the two men that is referenced in the Correspondence. In a letter to Constant dated 23 May 1959, Debord describes a cold interaction with Arnaud (“A l’instant meme ou je fermais la lettre pour toi, le telephone sonne: Noel Arnaud, qui me qu’il a trouve ta carte longtemps apres (n’etant pas a Paris) et qu’il aimerait avoir ton adresse, car il doit passer en Hollande d’ici une quinzaine de jours. Je lui ai donne ton adresse tres froidement.” – Corr. Vol 2, p.232.). We do not know of further interaction between the two men.