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Correspondence: The Foundation of the Situationist International (June 1957‐August 1960), Guy Debord, Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2009. All the King’s Horses, Michèle Bernstein, Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2008. 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International, McKenzie Wark, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.

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This review-essay looks at three texts from, or about, the early days of the Situationist International. The first volume of Guy Debord’s Correspondence reveals the SI’s internal discussions during their decisive first three years; Bernstein’s book represents an example of the continued relevance of the technique of détournement; while Wark’s text demonstrates both the breadth of the Situationist project and that, despite being continually mined by the academy, activists, the creative industries, and other more sinister recuperators, their work has not been depleted of its vitality. Taken together, the three books undermine a series of preconceptions about the SI, namely in terms of Debord’s role at the centre of the group and the SI’s engagement with the forces of the ‘spectacled’.

Affiliations: 1: Goldsmiths, University of London, Email:


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