La Societe du Spectacle [1969/1970] – Hannah Ziegellaub’s working copies

Debord, Guy. La Société du Spectacle. Paris: Buchet-Chastel, 1967. First edition, second printing (3 March 1969). 176 p.; 20.5 x 14 cm; White cover with text in black. Hannah Ziegellaub’s working copy, inscribed as such (“Hannah Ziegellaub / Aug, 1969 / Paris). It contains a wealth of annotations that were used in preparing the text’s first translation by Black & Red and 1970 (see below)

Debord, Guy. The Society of the SpectacleDetroit: Black & Red, 1970. First English edition, first printing (1970). np [120p.].; 21.5 x 13.5 cm.; B&W ill. wrappers with picture of a building. Hannah Ziegellaub’s copy, inscribed with her name and telephone number. The text was a group translation, and Hannah Ziegellaub was one of the key contributors:. This is Lorraine Perlman’s account in Having Little, Being Much: A Chronicle of Fredy Perlman’s Fifty years (Detroit: Black & Red, 1989):

“[…] in Detroit, the group he wanted to “join” had just undertaken a collective project to translate into English the text which was the cornerstone of Situationist theories: Guy Debord’s La Société du Spectacle. The translating sessions, attended by Hannah [Ziegellaub], Jon [Supak], Judy [Campbell], Don [Campbell], Fredy [Perlman] and me [Lorraine Perlman], usually turned into commentary on the author’s observations. We all found examples to illustrate the truth of his theories, frequently citing our experiences in establishing a print shop without recourse to hierarchy or bureaucracy. As a model of collaborative activity, this translating effort had visible flaws. When there were differences on how to formulate a passage, it was usually Fredy’s version that was finally accepted. Fredy’s stubbornness occasionally seemed unkind but when he firmly believed that his choice was better, he refused to give way […]”.

About Hannah Ziegellaub, from her New York Times obituary “ZIEGELLAUB–Hannah, 61 died May 29, 2006 in New York City of complications from Multiple Sclerosis. She is predeceased by her beloved husband Michael Brussell and her parents Dora and Detch Ziegellaub. Hannah was a consummate visual artist, a passionate social justice activist, and an extraordinary friend. Survivors include her devoted sister Mimi Ziegellaub, her brother-in-law Richard Eichler, her loving niece Emmy, close family friend Mimi Arsham, Irene and Veronica Selver and her cousin Ruthie Seglow with whom she grew up like sisters, and by her extended family and her legion of friends whose sorrow travels the globe. From all of us who love you”

Provenance: Hannah Ziegellaub, through the trade. Sincere thanks to Ken Mallory for procuring these exceptional copies.

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