“Faces of the Avant-Garde” – Lettrist International

This first post consists of the first English translation of an important early document which gives an account of the first 5 years of Letterist history.

What makes it of real interest is that it is written from the perspective of the Lettrist International (LI) – the group initially made up of Guy Debord, Gil Wolman, Serge Berna and Jean-Louis Brau that broke from Isidore Isou in late 1952.

I was actually surprised at how restrained the document is in it’s polemics against the Isouian Letterist group. It’s main concern truly does appear to be to document the early years of the movement. Also interesting is that the major proportion of the text is devoted to a quite “orthodox” discussion of Letterist poetry – an interest that the LI abandoned very early on.

The french edition of the text (published by Jean-Paul Rocher in 2010) notes that the document appears to have been written between the publishing of the second and third issues of the Internationale Lettriste journal (February-August 1953) – as Serge Berna had been excluded by the third issue.

Click on the image above or on this link to download the text as a PDF.

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