Literary great Roaldl Dahl has been caught in the crossfire in a debate regarding the censorship of his books.
Dahl, who lived between 1916 and 1990, was the author of books such as James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and his legacy in British culture continues to be felt more than 30 years after his death.
His works use words that have been deemed controversial by major publishers, terms such as ‘mad’ and ‘old hag’ which, in isolation, sound rude, but are taken out of context and out of the whimsical, charming worlds that Dahl was so good at building in his books.
There has been legitimate discussion about Dahl and some of the controversy around themes in his books, but there isn’t a deceased author whose works, in some way or another, don’t hold up to modern standards.
Whilst I’m not one to stand in front of social progress, I find the ongoing row about Dahl (whose books were extremely family-friendly for the most part) a massive waste of time. I understand conversations about outdated racial terms or gender expectations, but Dahl was never one to deliberately write books falling into this category.
Unedited Versions Soaring In Value
Unedited versions of the author’s seminal works are selling on eBay for thousands, with owners capitilsing on their rareness. We’ve all most likely owned a Dahl book at some point, and many of us had no idea what he had at the time. If you’re one of the lucky ones, then I’d suggest keeping your books in mint condition for as long as possible as it could be worth a pretty penny very soon.
The outrage and passion caused by the censorship of one of the UK’s pre-eminent children’s book writers is something I did not expect to happen in 2023. Modern Britain has enough problems on its weathered hands and I don’t think this scandal is going to make anybody’s life easier or better . Children know what a ‘rude’ word is, and it’s not Dahl’s fault that attitudes to his mostly-benign pejoratives have changed so much since his heyday. We should challenge authors, but we can’t expect someone born in 1916 to have spotless records in regards to their social commentary.
If Dahl’s books were full of expletives, I’d be all for his books being toned-down for younger audiences. However, they are not, and all we’re doing is dragging a legendary author’s name through the mud. Dahl has provided us with some of the best books of all-time, and we shouldn’t be degrading his legacy like this. We simply have better things to do.
LORD PING, THE ONLINE CASINO FOR OPINIONATED PLAYERS!
Disclaimer: Opinion content is provided by experienced journalists and are not the views of Lord Ping