Horror in Translation: Cultural Transfer in Hex

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In 2013, Dutch writer Thomas Olde Heuvelt published the novel Hex, which tells the story of a small town in the Netherlands, haunted by a centuries old witch, Katherina van Wyler, whose eyes and lips were sewn shut. While most villagers avoid the witch at all cost, some curious teenagers are wondering what will happen if the witch finally opens her eyes again, not quite prepared for the consequences. While it is already rare for a Dutch author to write a horror novel, in 2016, the novel was published in the United States, after the setting and cultural aspects had been changed from Dutch into American by Olde Heuvelt himself. The novel has been translated into many languages, and became a success in- and outside the Netherlands. This paper will explore how cultural transfer and self-translation work together in Hex, by examining and comparing the two versions of the novel.
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