Sorry for the two emails this week, y’all, but I just listened to your deep dive, and as someone who has studied and speaks French, I had a little issue with the translation you present for this week’s title: Les Les Ecorches. I understand the want to make this about torture or flayed skin, as it is obvious, but the actual translation in French doesn’t necessarily apply to that. Instead, it specifically refers to drawings of bodies that are depicted without skin (think medical textbooks). Thus, I am a believer that the title refers to two possible things. First,to the hosts as they are depicted in the opening credits (the white bodies without true human form), as well as something further which I’ll try to explain below.
I get your last writer who translated it into meaning flayed, as Les Les Ecorches is closely related to the transitive French verb, Ecorche (to flay). Still, in French, that word isn’t always in response to torture or a Ramsey Bolton type of flaying of Theon (in French: dépouiller de sa peau un corps) , but to autopsy (literally) or to the exploration of anatomy under the skin. In fact, Ecorche, specifically is used often to refer to artistic movements and what artists like Da Vinci did by removing the skin and looking at the underlying muscular structure of man to understand the anatomy in order to better draw the human body. Often artists would make Les Les Ecorches (men without skin in the form of statues or drawings) and medical students before modern medicine used them to study what made the human body the human body.
Today, there are still schools of art that practice creating Les Les Ecorches, but I think the title refers to both the white bodies at the start of Westworld (a form without skin), as well as metaphorically to what the hosts are doing with regard to the human race. They are moving toward a valley beyond where the underlying of humanity (truly a body without skin because it is just a consciousness). Ford exists without skin. He is the true muscular of a human body, the human brain. Thus, the man, Ford, is an example of a Les Les Ecorches, as are the other examples of consciousness that Charlotte Hale is storing in the valley beyond. Further, Bernard is often “flayed” in a way this week by us beginning to look underneath the surface (or underneath the metaphorical skin) to begin to ask ourselves questions about his reality, his being.
Anyhow, I hate to be nit pickey, but I love how complex you get on all aspects of Westworld, so I wanted to give you more context to the title beyond a traditional translation of torture your other reader provided. Oh, and nice job to both of you for pronoucing the title. Gene’s French accent wasn’t too bad 🙂
Ashley from Houston
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