Puffin are editing Roald Dahl books to remove offensive and outdated elements:
Am I going full GB News to feel a bit uncomfortable with this? I’ve read RD books to my kid and self-censored bits that I think are off, but I’ve also used it as a means of having a conversation about things. Ultimately if I think a book is irredeemable, I think the best thing to do is not buy it / leave it in the past. We don’t have to keep selling Roald Dahl books. Changing it without the author’s consent feels wrong to me, but maybe I’m completely out of touch.
Pretty telling that this has been instigated not by a publisher or by some concerned council but by The Roald Dahl Story Company who do have to keep selling Roald Dahl books.
I don’t think it’s a great idea. Books and stories reflect the era in which they were created. Better to keep them as-is rather than bowdlerise them, but maybe have a note on the back cover about anything that might be a concern. Seems to work well for Enid Blyton.
When we read both James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the amount of body shaming in the descriptions of the characters was really quite awful, so I edited them myself as I read them.
The descriptions of Augustus Gloop, in particular, are fucking rank. Honestly, happy for them to change them.
Actually find this hilarious trolling, especially since Dahl was such a prick.
That said, changing a word doesn’t change Dahl’s original meaning and equivocating bad = ugly and fat = greedy, so the issues in his books still remain.
And I say this as someone who bloody loves Roald Dahl books despite their problems
Dunno if you’re aware but she’s passed away
Roald Dahl just wasn’t a particularly nice person in general so IDK if this really changes anything.
This is what Phillip Pullman was saying this morning, neatly ignoring the atrocities he’s inflicted on the world himself.
In this case, I think it’s less about causing offence, and more about maximising the potential revenues for his estate.
When Netflix start making programmes based upon his IP, lots of new readers are going to pick/download the books and this seems like a way of pre-emptively avoiding the likely reactions from people.
When I say edited them, I literally didn’t read them, not sanitise them.
We also had to skip the Dr Dolittle books as by god the colonialist view in them is quite something!
What?? Way to break the news gently.
there was a really good discussion on voicenote club about Dahl’s books btw
It’s possibly ill advised do do this right in the middle of a culture war whipped up by the Torys.
I think some of the edits just tweak things a bit without losing the real intent behind it. It wasn’t mentioned in that article but one tweak was to change something about girls working as secretaries for a business man to then being scientists. Just little things that don’t reinforce outdated ideas. Don’t really have issues with any of the edits I’ve seen.
My only reservation is around de-publishing the originals entirely. I think it’s something people should still be able to choose to buy in it’s original wording if they wish.
dont care - he was a prick, quite funny for it to happen to him
Once again “the woke agenda” is actually just profit motive
Think I read something the other day that the text should be left alone but each book should have a note in the front explaining that Dahl was a cunt.
and perhaps saying that he was eventually punished for his crimes by being beaten to death with an enormous sausage by a gang of woke caterpillars.
Yeah, Disney Plus (of all places) is actually pretty good at putting notes in front of stuff with like “hey, heads up, this is racist. We don’t endorse this, but here is Walter Elias Disney is all his shitty glory” (I paraphrase).