Source text readers as censors in the digital age: a paratextual examination of the English translation of Wuhan Diary

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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. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-296
Number of pages15
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • digital media
  • source text readers
  • reader-censors
  • paratexts
  • Wuhan Diary
  • Covid-19

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