What is it about?

Using the controversial Wuhan Diary about the Covid-19 crisis in China as a case study, this paper examines the role of source text readers as censors of the paratexts of the Diary’s English translation. The active participation of source text readers created much tension with the source text author, and also gave rise to conflicts with other agents such as the translator and publisher. The resolution of what were often ideological conflicts was reflected in the fluidity of the paratexts of the target text, a fluidity facilitated and enabled by digital media.

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Why is it important?

The coming-of-age of digital media has transformed the translation landscape, (con)fusing to a certain extent the Source and the Target. Not only has there been a shift in the way the agents of a translation interact with the text, but source text readers have also been brought into the picture as potentially important players in the (co)production of the target text.


Translation has been increasingly considered a target-text phenomenon, while source text factors such as source culture and the ST readers have been mostly under-represented, if not ignored in research. The paper shows that the Source factors can play important roles in the shaping of the target text, and this is becoming theoretically common in the digital age, as digital media help blur the line between the source context and the target context.

Dr. Lintao Qi
Monash University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Source text readers as censors in the digital age: a paratextual examination of the English translation of Wuhan Diary, Perspectives, June 2021, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/0907676x.2021.1939741.
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