The new versions of Dahl’s books will remove words like “fat” and “ugly” to make them more acceptable to “modern” readers.
In Roald Dahl’s book James and the Giant Peach (1961), one character is described as “terrifically fat” and “tremendously flabby.” But this description won’t appear in new editions of Dahl’s book, as the author’s works are being rewritten to remove potentially offensive language.
Puffin Books and the Roald Dahl Story Company have partnered with an organization called Inclusive Minds to review the author’s texts and remove words that might rankle modern readers. For example, the character of Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) will no longer be described as “enormously fat” but just “enormous,” according to the Associated Press.
Other changes include removing the word “black” to describe frightening tractors in The Fabulous Mr. Fox (1970) and leaving them as “murderous, brutal-looking monsters,” calling Oompa Loompas “small people” instead of “small men,” and including an extra line about the baldness of witches in The Witches (1983) that explains, “There are plenty of other reasons why women might wear wigs and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.”
Dahl’s estate has defended the changes as par for the course. “When publishing new print runs of books written years ago, it’s not unusual to review the language used alongside updating other details, including a book’s cover and page layout,” the company stated, per the Associated Press.
But the changes have outraged many, including… Read more