Book Talk: HEX, Chapter 11

Posted January 11, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments


Bilingual read-through of HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

List of Prominent Characters

So, the NL and EN tags are the ones actually used in the story. If it’s listed for both then it’s a shorthand I’m using to note which of the characters is which. Where no name for ‘both’ is included I haven’t used a name for both. (Expect this list to get updated per chapter!)

  • Beek (NL), Black Spring/Black Rock (EN), Black Beek (both)
  • Stefan (NL), Steve (EN), Ste (both)
  • Katherina (NL), Katherine (EN), Kat (both), aka Wylerheks (NL), Black Rock Witch (EN) Wyler Witch (both)
  • Jolanda (NL), Jocelyn (EN), Jo (both)
  • Timo (NL), Tyler (EN), Tiy (both)
  • Oma (NL), Gramma (EN), Granny (both)
  • Max (NL), Matt (EN), Maxmatt (both)
  • Robert Grim (NL, EN)
  • Claire Hamer (NL), Claire Hammer (EN)
  • Jens van der Heijden (NL), Warren Castillo (EN), Jenren (both)
  • Jasmine Aerendonck (NL), Bammy Delarosa (EN), Jasmy (both)
  • The Aerandoncks/The Delarosas, Aerenrosa (both)
  • Martijn Winkel (NL), Marty Keller (EN),Winler (both)
  • Loes Krijgsman (NL), Lucy Everett (EN), Loucy (both)
  • Pieter van Meerten (NL), Pete VanderMeer (EN), Pete van Meer (both)
  • Marieke (NL), Mary (EN), Marie (both)
  • Laurens (NL), Lawrence (EN), Lau (both)
  • Jelmer Holst (NL), Jaydon Holst (EN), Jaymer (both)
  • Mirna (NL), Sue (EN)
  • Burak Sayers (NL), Burak Şayers (EN)
  • Bert Aerendonck (NL), Burt Delarosa (EN)
  • Gemma Holst (NL), Griselda Holst (EN), Gemelda (both)

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

In chapter 10: Gemelda was raped and then beat her rapist to death with a broomstick. Also it is All Hallows’ Eve and Grim proves that he’s still a sex-obsessed bastard.

Chapter 11 – Scene 1

This chapter starts off with Maxmatt tossing one of his pennants into the Wicker Witch. The English translation immediately starts us off with the idea that though Ste doesn’t condemn this action, he’s shocked. In the Dutch original, it’s more like “without condemning the action, Ste was shocked”. Which may not seem like such a big difference, but the entire concept that Ste’s condemnation and shock are opposites isn’t present in the original Dutch version.

Niké, Maxmatt’s horse, becomes Nuala. Which I think I mentioned before, but I also think if I did thy may be the first time we’re hearing about which horse got translated how. I’m not sure why the shift to an Irish name here. I’m going to assume that means the horse is white, but honestly why wouldn’t you name your horse ‘victory’?

The translation is also surprisingly unspecific about the contests Matt has been in, compared to its penchant to use all of the brand names all of the time.

And interestingly, though the burning of the Wickervrouw starts at 7 pm, the burning of the Wicker Woman starts at 6. I’m sure there’s some perfectly good reason to change it that makes sense to Americans, but until someone explains it to me, I’ll just sit here and be confused as to why the translation changed a number.

Marieke van Meerten has become Mary VanderMeer.

Stefan’s Dutch observation of ‘nice characterisation’ has become ‘ten points for character development’ because we are clearly at Hogwarts at the moment.

There are a couple of changes to Loucy’s speech over the PA system, not least of which the fact that the English version has lost all the small-caps. I’ll just give you a translation of the Dutch original and discuss the way the English differs afterwards.

“Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, please follow the fire department’s instructions calmly. With this fantastic spectacle our wonderful celebration has come to an end. To speed along clean-up, the bars and restaurants around the square will now close. You can return to the motorway via the marked route and the buses will be waiting there too. Thank you very much for coming, get home safely and until next year!”

Firstly, the English version ditches the comment on following the fire department’s instructions. It goes straight to telling everyone the event is now over. It also changes the road, for obvious reasons, but it asks people to follow the fire department’s instructions, rather than the marked route. The buses get a sentence of their own. The English version also specifically wishes people a happy Halloween. (Well a ‘super duper Halloween’, but you get the idea.) And that’s it for the changes.

And since we’re talking about the book, let’s take a moment to reflect that in the English version, despite this being Halloween, no one is described as getting dressed up. It’s not in the Dutch version either, but the Dutch don’t celebrate Halloween and so wouldn’t dress up. This seems like a remnant of the original text that could have been tweaked and localised a little better. It wouldn’t need much. Just a few added touches on there being costumes.

Oh, look. The English version has another space too many. Good to know! And, because it’s the English version, the Outsiders are now going to go out and Trick-or-Treat in the other areas. Which absolutely means I would have expected a note about costumes existing. But no. Nope. I don’t recall seeing one.

All the other times mentioned are moved up about an hour, with the exception of the teens making out in the woods, whose estimate time of ‘get the heck out of this town’ is moved up an hour and a half. And, because this is clearly not a typical American town, now we get a note that there will be no trick-or-treating in Black Spring. It’s not a line present in the Dutch. (Again, because it doesn’t need to be there. I could’ve done with moving this up a little.)

And now Ste and family return home, where they find Tiy who has received a PM (English) or a ‘whatsapp’ (Dutch) from Jaymer regarding Arthur. You know, the rapist who died at the very end of chapter 10? He’s very dead. Super, very deader than dead.

The adults are all supercalm about the fact that Tiy got a message that someone has died. Like, Ste is even walking the dog. This is how chill he is about the whole thing.

The Dutch town meeting is at 10.20. The English one is at 9.20. Somehow, I am ever so slightly more sympathetic to the idea of leaving thirteen-year-old Max home alone than equally old Matt.

The English translation is actually missing a bit of text here. In the Dutch version, the town meeting that signals the end of the evening is held in the local sports centre because the town hall is too tiny for the 700-800 people who want to attend. The English version has the meeting held at town hall.

The English actually gets cruder than the Dutch here when someone in the crowd is yelling for Arthur’s body to be burnt (yes, burnt, not cremated) the Dutch yells simply that: “Burn him!” The English includes swearing.

Oh, look. It’s more foreshadowing that is supposed to be eerie by pointing out how much the audience is reminding Ste of a medieval mob. *yawn*

Oh. I should note: apart from Gemelda and presumably Jaymer and the council, no one knows that Arthur is a rapist. All they know is that’s sick in the head and needed to be locked up because Reasons. (And only Ste seems to have an inkling that the rumours of the inhumanity of Arthur’s imprisonment were not really rumours but fact.)

The English also loses a bit of Stefan’s thoughts here. In Dutch he follows up his thought about the obvious nonsense that the town council is spouting about how Arthur died with “and a doctor won’t settle for quackery”, but the sentiment is entirely missing from the English translation. It also includes swearwords not present in the Dutch original, presumably to try and keep the same sense of strength.

And Ste is suspicious, but can’t really do much because he’s afraid of what the town is capable of doing. And now here is the rub in the whole issue with Arthur’s death: they can’t declare him legally dead because he no longer exists. I’ve no idea how they managed to do that, but there you are. And apparently a death certificate is the hill that Pete van Meer is going to die on in this meeting because a proper death certificate is clearly proof that we are empathetic human beings and not, y’know, barbarians. But apparently pointing out that Arthur was a human being for God’s sake is akin to taking the name of the Lord in vain and, okay, I give up trying to understand what is going on in these scenes with any kind of accuracy.

GRIM HAS DONE THE ONLY VAGUELY DECENT THING HE’S DONE SO FAR THIS BOOK AND HE’S DONE IT IN DEFENSE OF A RAPIST. He’s in favour of signing a death certificate for Arthur. And of course the motion for the certificate loses.

Chapter 11 – Scene 2

There are pretty much no changes to this. It ends heavily on foreshadowing of impending doom, but the versions are more or less the same.