Seminar: Dan Brown’s Success and the Translation of His Novels



Professor Zhenwu ZHU
Shanghai Normal University

It has been widely acknowledged that each of Dan Brown’s novels not only covers a wide range of subjects, such as history, art, literature, religion, and science, but also connects them to long-standing mysteries and sensitive issues in today’s world. As many of the incidents and controversies featured in his novels are either well-documented or have been frequently debated over the years, or even centuries, the tough challenge for Brown is to be able to collect data and disseminate them in his narrative both accurately and forcefully.

The acceptance of a translated version is closely connected with the combination of aesthetic conception and various thinking modes of the translators, which can be proved by the great sensation caused by Dan Brown’s novels in China. Both the aesthetic peculiarity of the literary text and re-contextualization of translation require that the translators, while taking into account of the receiving capacity of the readers to a large extent, employ their aesthetic conception and translation thinking in a comprehensive way to maintain a harmonious aesthetic distance, in order that the similarities between the source text and the target text is enhanced to the best of our ability.

Speaker Bio

Zhenwu ZHU is a Professor of English in Humanities and Communication College at Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China. He is the distinguished discipline leader for the Comparative Literature and World Literature Program designated by the Department of Education in China. He is the author of more than 10 books and 200 essays on English and American literature, including William Faulkner, Edgar Allan Poe and Dan Brown. Also, he is the principal Chinese translator of all Dan Brown’s novels