Rewrite by Roald Dahl: original versions will remain in print
Even the Queen Consort got involved: in the face of an outcry in the UK over the rewriting of Roald Dahl's books to remove terms deemed offensive, his UK publisher announced on Friday that it would continue to publish the original versions in a special collection.
Roald Dahl, author of 'James and the Big Peach', 'Matilda' and 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', died in 1990 at the age of 74.
Puffin UK will publish the 17 affected books by the famous children's writer later this year 'to keep the author's classic texts in circulation' alongside their new releases.
The case had was revealed last week by the conservative Daily Telegraph. The rights holders have undertaken to smooth the language of all the children's novels of the beloved author of several generations, but who has been denounced in particular for anti-Semitic remarks.
The number of modified terms is vast, touching on issues considered sensitive: race and ethnicity, gender, weight, physical appearance, mental health, violence, etc. A “hugely big” character has become “enormous”. “A crazy thing” has become “a weird thing”.
In France, the publisher Gallimard Jeunesse assured that a rewrite was not in the news.
The planned rewrite of his books has provoked many indignant reactions in the literary and political world, in the context of culture wars and regular accusations of “cancel culture”.
Salman Rushdie has denounced “absurd censorship
At a reception on Thursday, Queen Consort Camilla called on writers not to be intimidated by “those who want to restrict your freedom of expression or place limits on your imagination” , adding with a roll of his eyes and a smile: “It's all said.”
These remarks have been widely interpreted as a criticism of the rewriting of Roald Dahl's books.