Post by John Green on Feb 19, 2023 19:23:32 GMT
"Yesterday, the Telegraph reported on how new editions of classic children’s books by Roald Dahl are being published after substantial alterations made according to the urges of a morbid and absurd class of people known as sensitivity readers. The Telegraph reports:
Language related to weight, mental health, violence, gender and race has been cut and rewritten. Remember the Cloud-Men in James and the Giant Peach? They are now the Cloud-People. The Small Foxes in Fantastic Mr Fox are now female. In Matilda, a mention of Rudyard Kipling has been cut and Jane Austen added. It’s Roald Dahl, but different.
It’s important to be clear that these changes are not just presumptuous and self-entitled — they patently degrade the quality of the text. Witness how Dahl’s mild comic surrealism gives way to a joyless lecture....
No one would deny that Dahl was a rather scabrous and even sadistic writer. But part of the fun of reading him, as a child, is grappling with the darkness — beginning to comprehend the shadows one has glimpsed around the world. These small-souled artistic vandals are flattening out those interesting quirks in the grip of a paralysing fear that someone, somewhere might read it and then take or give offence.
If Roald Dahl cannot even say that Mrs Trunchbull has a horsey face — because nobody has unsightly features or because we are forbidden from noticing them — what else could be changed? If books like Matilda and films like Gone With the Wind are being sliced and diced, what could happen to less famous and more genuinely provocative media? Hell, look at how Dahl’s publishers have decided that authors as illustrious as Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling — referenced in Matilda but now replaced with Jane Austen and John Steinbeck — are too dangerous to even mention in front of kids."
Thanks for the link, John.