grandes machines célibataires

English translation: great / large bachelor machines

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:grandes machines célibataires
English translation:great / large bachelor machines
Entered by: Charles Davis

11:01 Oct 13, 2017
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Architecture
French term or phrase: grandes machines célibataires
From the description of an architectural project.

Au sein du territoire de l’Est francilien, la cité Descartes compose un environnement urbain à la fois bucolique et suburbain, peuplé aujourd’hui de grandes machines célibataires.
Les espaces publics, souvent surdimensionnés peinent de ce fait à acquérir une réelle vitalité, faute d’une matière urbaine suffisamment qualifiante.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
egunn
Local time: 03:19
great bachelor machines
Explanation:
As Katsy has helpfully pointed out, this is Deleuze/Guattari-speak. In the published translation of their L'Anti-Oedipe the term "celibate machines", and a number of people who discuss them on this subject use that translation:
https://books.google.es/books?id=WvvQfxvGfpYC&pg=PA19&lpg=PA...

However, although they typically give the term their own slant, they didn't invent it; they got it from Michel Carrouges, who in turn was referring back to Marcel Duchamp's Le Grand Verre, also titled La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (1915-23).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bride_Stripped_Bare_by_Her...

Duchamp referred to it as "La Machine Célibataire", and to elements included in its as "machines célibataires". Carrouge pointed out a similarity to the punitive apparatus in Kafka's story "In the Penal Colony".
http://christianhubert.com/writings/bachelor_machine.html
https://conservationmachines.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/michel...


So I think the term "bachelor machine" should be used, because there's an ongoing thread here. And plenty of people discussing Deleuze & Guattari's take on the idea in English use the term "bachelor machine".

I take "grandes" to mean "great" rather than "large" here, though I'm not completely sure about that; I may be wrong. Whether the writer is referring to Duchamp or to D&G or a combination, I couldn't say, but I must be one or both; the use of the term can't be a coincidence.
Selected response from:

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 04:19
Grading comment
Yes, the term may be obscure in French, but that's no reason to make it any less so in the English translation, in my view. The term 'bachelor machine', whatever we may think of it, does appear to be the 'correct' translation. Many thanks to everyone who answered and/or commented.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2large bachelor (or celibate) machines
Helen Shiner
4great bachelor machines
Charles Davis
3 +1great virgin machines/contraptions/structures
B D Finch
2 +1great bachelor-making machines
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Summary of reference entries provided
les machines célibataires
katsy

  

Answers


41 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
great bachelor machines


Explanation:
As Katsy has helpfully pointed out, this is Deleuze/Guattari-speak. In the published translation of their L'Anti-Oedipe the term "celibate machines", and a number of people who discuss them on this subject use that translation:
https://books.google.es/books?id=WvvQfxvGfpYC&pg=PA19&lpg=PA...

However, although they typically give the term their own slant, they didn't invent it; they got it from Michel Carrouges, who in turn was referring back to Marcel Duchamp's Le Grand Verre, also titled La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (1915-23).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bride_Stripped_Bare_by_Her...

Duchamp referred to it as "La Machine Célibataire", and to elements included in its as "machines célibataires". Carrouge pointed out a similarity to the punitive apparatus in Kafka's story "In the Penal Colony".
http://christianhubert.com/writings/bachelor_machine.html
https://conservationmachines.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/michel...


So I think the term "bachelor machine" should be used, because there's an ongoing thread here. And plenty of people discussing Deleuze & Guattari's take on the idea in English use the term "bachelor machine".

I take "grandes" to mean "great" rather than "large" here, though I'm not completely sure about that; I may be wrong. Whether the writer is referring to Duchamp or to D&G or a combination, I couldn't say, but I must be one or both; the use of the term can't be a coincidence.

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 04:19
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 32
Grading comment
Yes, the term may be obscure in French, but that's no reason to make it any less so in the English translation, in my view. The term 'bachelor machine', whatever we may think of it, does appear to be the 'correct' translation. Many thanks to everyone who answered and/or commented.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Christopher Crockett: If the audience already knows what this (quite obscure) term means, then why translate it at all? Or, as I suggested, simply add quotes --"g. 'machines' for living"-- and I'll agree. Otherwise (i still maintain) it's an inexplicable nonsense.
25 mins
  -> Let me back down just a little. The term is reasonably well known among C20 art specialists (by an extraordinary coincidence I had the Spanish equivalent, "máquinas solteras", in a translation today), but I don't understand what they mean by it here.
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41 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
large bachelor (or celibate) machines


Explanation:
This comes originally from Marcel Duchamp's sculpture, The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors Even: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/duchamp-the-bride-stripp...

Deleuze and Guattari make reference to it in their book, Anti-Oedipus, see here:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=GJ8kDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA156&lp...

This document explains: The relationship between Man and machine is long and complex—ranging from mechanic dolls
in the late 18th century to androids and cyborgs in contemporary science fiction. This course
examines the role of machines and automatons in relation to the modernist crisis of
representation and the fantasy of artificial procreation. We will particularly focus on the
fantasy of the so-called machine célibataire as a model for a self-contingent form of authorship.
The idea of the bachelor machine reflects the status of the modern subject in a deserted world,
replaces procreation with a continuous and repetitive artificial creation and understands art as a
substitution of life.
http://german.rutgers.edu/docman-lister/fall-2010-syllabi/15...

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:19
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 106

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway
34 mins
  -> Thanks, writeaway

agree  Yvonne Gallagher: prefer "great" but your last ref gives simplest definition (for those of us whose eyes glaze over at this "nonsense", to quote Christopher), and also uses the French in italics
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Gallagy. I do prefer large, since great is ambiguous here.
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35 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
great virgin machines/contraptions/structures


Explanation:
"Machines" seems to reference Le Corbusier's "machines for living". Looking at the Cité Décartes (http://sisso.fr/vv/ENPC/enpcdata/) it does appear to mean the buildings, though it may also include sculptural elements separate from the buildings.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 52 mins (2017-10-13 11:53:50 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just noticed Katsy's reference comment and it is indeed a reference to Deleuse and Guattari, which means it must be "virgin machines", not "contraptions ...". Also, The Virgin Machine (Die Jungfrauenmaschine) dir. by Monika Treut (1988).

B D Finch
France
Local time: 04:19
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 163

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Messaoudi N.
18 hrs
  -> Thanks Messaoudi
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
great bachelor-making machines


Explanation:
In spite of the references already provided, I wonder if (thus 2 on the confidence level) this is actually meant slight differently, perhaps that it generates celibacy : people are not that likely to meet.
Sort of a long shot, as considering that the source text is by an architect, the cahnces are it is being used differently.

For a plan of the site:
http://www.univ-paris-est.fr/fr/plan-d-acces/document-1372.h...

For an aerial shot of the site:
http://www.esiee.fr/fr/espace-etudiants/campus-descartes

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 04:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 7

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yolanda Broad
5 days
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Reference comments


7 mins peer agreement (net): +1
Reference: les machines célibataires

Reference information:
http://1libertaire.free.fr/SLatouche19.html

And one quote from this article

Les Machines Célibataires , définies par Deleuze et Guattari comme "surfaces d'enregistrement, corps sans organes (...) l'essentiel est l'établissement d'une surface enchantée d'inscription ou d'enregistrement qui s'attribue toutes les forces productives et les organes de production, et qui agit comme quasi-cause en leur communiquant le mouvement apparent", sont organisées en arborescences multiples.

I am not sure that I understand :-)

katsy
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Yvonne Gallagher: yep, my eyes glaze over at this stuff!
2 hrs
  -> 😉
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