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Forward to Panegyric Volume 2

Guy Debord


From the authorized, unpublished translation by John McHale of Panegyrique, Vol 2 (Paris: Arthème Fayard, 1997)


OF ALL THE TRUTHS which go to make up this volume of Panegyric, it will be appreciated that the greatest resides in the very manner of assembling and presenting them together. There scarcely remains anything more to do then but illustrate and comment on the essential, already to be found summed up so precisely in the first volume.

The second volume contains a set of iconographical evidence. The reigning deceptions of the time are poised to make us forget that the truth may also be displayed by means of images. An image that has not been deliberately separated from its meaning can add great precision and certainty to knowledge. Nobody had ever cast doubt on this until these last few years. I intend however to provide a reminder of it now. An authentic illustration sheds light on real discourse, like a subordinate clause which is neither incompatible nor pleonastic.

People will at last be able to see not only what my appearance has been at various stages of my life, but also the kind of face that has always made up my entourage, and what kind of places I have lived in. All these things taken together and considered will serve to round off the final opinion. To cite moreover but an instance, albeit one that constitutes a rather singular historical monument, my contribution to extremist art in this century shall be displayed herein in its entirety: the mark of its excellence resides in the little there is.

These coherent documentary proofs will be supplemented by various data of, for example, the graphological kind, that ought to be looked on as superfluous. Yet in like manner, those who prefer to believe in the existence of various simpler and more direct methods of knowledge than the science of history, or who at least trust to one or the other as a means of verification, will no doubt be displeased to conclude that nothing in the way of objection can be laid at my door.

The most notable dates of my works, a proper idea of whose unity may accordingly be had, are listed at the end of the present volume. In the third volume, several details which still remain obscure will receive explanation *

* The third volume, along with the succeeding ones still at manuscript stage, were burned during the night of the 30th November, 1994, in accordance with Guy Debord's wishes. (Publisher's Note.)