When Axelos Found A Disciple
Internationale Situationniste #11 (October 1967)
Translated by Reuben Keehan
In June 1966, beside a text by Kostas Axelos, ex-editor of Arguments (which says it all, really), number 55 of the bulletin of an "International Center for Poetic Studies" in Brussels contained an article by one Jacques Darquin, offering this same Axelos the stupidest and most unbridled worship. According to a biographical note introducing his article, Jacques Darquin "was briefly a member of the Situationist International." We immediately wrote to the journal's editor, Fernand Verhasen, pointing out that this was untrue, and that we expected him to make it known to both us and the readers of the following issue that his good faith had been abused.
This imposture, we might add, is all the more significant in that it is intended to qualify an adulator of Mr Kostas Axelos, whose work the situationists have mentioned several times in complete opposition. In this instance, Mr Darquin's self-promotional behavior casts in a redoubtable light what Axelosian thought meant with its amazing discovery that "false consciousness is hand in glove with the consciousness that believes it knows the truth." In order for Mr Darquin, for example, to have been "hand in glove" with the situationists, he would have to invent a false past for himself. The triviality of his case makes it obvious to everyone that he "links" himself to us in the same way that Mr Axelos does "to Heraclitus and to Marx, to Rimbaud and to Nietzsche," etc. But the impudence of Mr Darquin's links is even more immediately demonstrable.
Irritatingly, Verhesen provided no response whatsoever, effectively taking all responsibility for this falsification. Several weeks later, he was forced to suffer the consequences of this indignation when a few situationists chased him out of a nightclub in Brussels. This pathetic little character, who maintains his arrogance despite a courteous appeal to his intellectual honesty, and instantly becomes humble when given a slap in the face, then hastened to plead that there was no more a Darquin than there was ink in Axelos' intellectual pen, and that the entire Darquinage, the bleating article and the biographical note, were directly furnished by Axelos himself. What a mentality! Just as we've always said...