To pin down one of my positions, I got inspired by a fictional interview with Jean Dubuffet, which contains a question for advice for young artists.

The autobiographical text is called "Bâtons rompus" in the French original, and "Die Autorität des Vorhandenen" in the German translation. More precisely, I'm referring to Question 28 - which I include as a picture in the end of this post for your reference.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to locate this passage in the French original, and can't ask for assistance of a private individual who owns it as such questions are off-topic on Literature Stackexchange. It would be interesting, however, to see how Dubuffet phrased his original words in view of a possible Chinese translation of my own slogan.

Regardless of Dubuffet's position who often criticizes "conditioning" in art works and vows for "improvisation", which I don't like to adopt, I would like to extract one idea from it, namely the one of a huge production.

After this introduction, I come to my own question. How would you translate this into Chinese:

Möglichst viel (umfangreich) produzieren, möglichst rasch und schnell


  • I would say: 尽可能广泛的创作 for the first part, where 广泛 is supposed to correspond to the German "umfangreich".

  • For the second, let me just note that "rasch" and "schnell" refer to a similar concept in German but "rasch" implies a sloppy way which does not mind the precise execution which might be influenced by your own inability, your current condition, by hazard and coincidence. Maybe there is a 成语 in Chinese available which merges the two words together into four characters.

  • The word "schnell" is neutral and just means: fast. In Chinese, it would be 快速.

  • If I was forced to translate the second part on my own, I would, hence, say: 尽可能快速拉施的创作, but I'm not sure if this is adequate or too drastic for my intended meaning.

Bâtons rompus

  • Why not just pop it into ChatGPT and ask? These fringe works aren't likely to have published translations.
    – Mou某
    Commented Feb 12 at 13:11
  • I already did my research and proposed a translation based on it. The question is wether it is appropriate - with possible corrections Commented Feb 12 at 13:39
  • ChatGPT can't comprehend the text by Dubuffet as a human can. That's another reason. Commented Feb 12 at 13:42
  • As I've done it now: ChatGPT would suggest: 尽可能广泛的创作,风驰电掣地完成 Commented Feb 12 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


Funny, I was in Malaga in January, staying just around the corner from where Picasso was born. Carol, an Irish artist and a friend, who lives in Malaga, complained about Picasso: "He just turned his paintings out as fast as possible to make money!" My other friend said, "She's just jealous!"

rasch: schnell, geschwind
schnell: rasch zügig, flott

I see no justification for: ""rasch" implies a sloppy way", nor does schnell. There is no such implication in the word, in my view. "Er arbeitete rasch, aber perfekt." "He worked quickly, but perfectly." is not an oxymoron.

Wasn't that Rilke using "rasch", in this verse that always echoes in me:

Und in den Bildern: ist nicht die Zeichnung geblieben,
die deiner Braue dunkler Zug
rasch an die Wandung der eigenen Wendung geschrieben?

From the book photo:

Ich würde sie ermutigen,
I would encourage them
möglichst viel zu produzieren,
to produce as much as possible,
zu improvisieren und dabei sehr schnell zu arbeiten,
to improvise and, at the same time to work as quickly as possible,
und ihr Bemühen darauf zu richten, sich von allem, was sie in Bezug auf bildliche Darstellung wissen, zu entfernen,
and to strive to forget everything, that they think they know about pictorial representation,
sich vor jeder Anpassung an die Bilder anderer und an die kulterelle Normen zu hüten.
and to take care not to adapt their work to conform with the others' art, nor to conform their art with present cultural norms.

Take this:

Möglichst viel (umfangreich) produzieren, möglichst rasch und schnell (rasch und schnell???)

and make a meaningful sentence:

Du solltest vielerlei Kunstwerke möglichst rasch erschaffen.

You should create many kinds of objet d'art as quickly possible.


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