Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Lettrists disavow the insulters of Chaplin, Jean-Isidore Isou, et al.

The members of the Lettrist movement are united on the basis of new principles of knowledge and each keeps his independence as far as the details of the application of these principles. We all know that [Charles] Chaplin was been "a great creator in the history of the cinema" but "the total (and baroque) hysteria" that has surrounded his arrival in France has embarassed us, as does the expression of all mental instability. We are ashamed that the world today lacks more profound values than these, which are secondary and "isolatrous" of the "artist." Only the Lettrists who signed the tract against Chaplin are responsible for the extreme and confused content of their manifesto. As nothing has been resolved in this world, "Charlot" receives, along with applause, the splashes [eclaboussures] of this non-resolution.

We, the Lettrists who were opposed to this tract of our comrades from the beginning, smile at the maladroit expression of the bitterness of their youth.

If "Charlot" must receive mud, it won't be us who throw it at him. There are others, who paid to do it (the Attorney General, for example).

We thus revoke our solidarity from the tract of our friends and we associate ourselves with the homage rendered to Chaplin by the entire populace.

In their turn, the other Lettrists can explain themselves, in their own journals or in the press.

But "Charlot" and all this only constitutes a simple nuance.

(Published in Combat on 1 November 1952 and reprinted in Internationale Lettriste #1, December 1952. Translated from the French by NOT BORED!)

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