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Position of the Lettrist International

Internationale Lettriste #1 (November 1952)

Translated by Sophie Rosenberg

Following our intervention against the press conference held by Chaplin at the Ritz, and the bits and pieces of the tract "No More Flat Feet" reproduced in the newspapers — a tract which, alone, took a stand against this artist — Isou and his submissive, graying followers have published a note disapproving of our actions (in this specific circumstance) in Combat. We have appreciated the significance of Chaplin's work in its own time — but we know that today novelty lies elsewhere, and that "truths which are no longer interesting turn into lies" (Isou).

We believe that the most urgent expression of freedom is the destruction of idols, especially when they claim to represent freedom. The provocative tone of our leaflet was a reaction against a unanimous and servile enthusiasm. The fact that certain lettrists, and Isou himself, have chosen to disclaim us is proof of the incomprehension which always did, and still does, separate extremists from those who no longer stand close to the edge, and separates us from those who have relinquished "the bitterness of youth" and "smile" upon established glories — and separates those over twenty from those under thirty. We claim sole responsibilty for a text which we alone have signed. We ourselves disclaim no one. Indignation leaves us utterly indifferent. To be reactionary is not a matter of degree.

We abandon our detractors to the anonymous crowd of the easily offended.