"Le Corps Enjeu" to English
August 26, 2019 8:52 AM   Subscribe

What would be a proper English translation of the French phrase "Le Corps Enjeu"? In context, it was the title of this 1983 exhibit at the Ethnographic Museum of Neuchâtel. I presume there's a better idiomatic translation that Google's "the body at stake".
posted by ShooBoo to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe "in play?" I don't think "at stake" sounds too bad actually.

Jeu literally means game.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:03 AM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Maybe "A question of the body" or "The body in question" but I'd have to read more of the exhibition text or related things to really get a good pun in to match the original.
posted by lokta at 9:07 AM on August 26, 2019


I think "Body Stakes" would be closer to the original. Enjeu as a noun means "stake" or "stakes," i.e., something that is risked in a gamble (literally or figuratively), coming from the phrase en jeu, meaning "in play" or "at stake."
posted by brianogilvie at 9:35 AM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Might be a dumb question, but have you looked up the actual exhibit? The best translation probably depends on the context.
posted by praemunire at 10:15 AM on August 26, 2019


Y'all, the exhibition text is in the first link.

It's tricky to offer a "better" translation than because "Le Corps Enjeu" (see brianogilvie's definition above) is being used as a sort of double or triple entendre. Bodies are at stake, the body is used as the stakes of a game, the body is a game, etc.

More poetically, I might suggest "Who wins the body?" But "The Body At Stake" isn't a bad direct translation.
posted by desuetude at 12:42 PM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's an allusion to Foucault, who uses the term 'enjeu' in The Will to Knowledge, the first volume of The History of Sexuality (published in 1976, so still very much le dernier cri in 1983). The translation would be something like 'The Body at Stake', or maybe 'Body Hazards', the point being that while this is in some sense a game, the stakes are very high.
posted by verstegan at 2:55 PM on August 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


I prefer a translation that omits the English definite article. Based on the description of the exhibition, it examines how bodies have been approached in multiple historical and cultural settings. French requires the article, but English doesn't, and this is one situation where a faithful translation should, IMO, drop the article.
posted by brianogilvie at 6:39 PM on August 26, 2019


Getting the wordplay in is tricky. Based on the detailed description of the exhibit, Contested Bodies or Bodies, Contested might work.
posted by pendrift at 6:57 AM on August 27, 2019


> Based on the description of the exhibition, it examines how bodies have been approached in multiple historical and cultural settings. French requires the article, but English doesn't, and this is one situation where a faithful translation should, IMO, drop the article.

Oh, I'm glad to hear you say that -- I was going to suggest that the plural would be a better direct translation, but I doubted myself.

pendrift's suggestion of "Contested Bodies" brings the wordplay, I like it.
posted by desuetude at 8:24 AM on August 27, 2019


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