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In Censoring Roald Dahl, They're Trying to Steal Our Memories

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My colleague Becca Lower has been covering the re-imagining of groundbreaking children’s author Roald Dahl’s works. To sum up, Puffin Books, the children’s branch of British publisher Penguin, has decided to sic a team of “sensitivity gurus” on the author’s amazing oeuvre, and change the meaning of his words to evoke a new more “enlightened” version.

They’ve taken out the word “fat,” for instance, in all his books— even though the characters in question are in fact, FAT.

Puffin has gone on to change every other word that could even have the slightest hint of even a possibility of offensiveness. This is woke insanity on an almost-magical scale.

Dahl is one of the greatest children’s authors of all time, writing some 57 books that have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Yet some young woke punks have decided that they’re better than him and can decide what is suitable for your consumption.

I ask the question, are these Young Turks going to rewrite Mark Twain and Charles Dickens next?

It’s patently ridiculous, but that’s where we are these days.

If you want to know more about the insanity of the changes Puffin made without the consent of the long-deceased author, read these two excellent Becca Lower RedState articles:

While Becca has aptly pointed out the ridiculousness of these “updates,” I wanted to dive in on a more personal level. We all see this assault on the language, this constant re-writing of history, and it’s pernicious. They’re trying to take away our memories.

My parents were divorced, and my father lived in a different city, so we kids didn’t get to see him all that often. It’s tough to have a parent-child relationship when you’re not involved in each other’s daily lives.

But my father tried. My most treasured memory of growing up with my dad was him reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” to me, my sister, and my brother. (Full disclosure: he also read us “The Hobbit.” Sorry, Tolkien fans, the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy pales in comparison to “The Hobbit.” You know it, I know it, even Peter Jackson knows it.)

The incomparable descriptions and language that Dahl used are what made his works so great, and what made his characters come alive in your mind. Take this description of Headmistress Trunchbull from “Matilda“:

Miss Trunchbull, the Headmistress, was something else altogether. She was a gigantic holy terror, a fierce tyrannical monster who frightened the life out of the pupils and teachers alike. There was an aura of menace about her even at a distance, and when she came up close you could almost feel the dangerous heat radiating from her as from a red hot rod of metal. When she marched—Miss Trunchbull never walked, she always marched like a strong-trooper with long strides and arms aswinging—when she marched along a corridor, you could actually hear her snorting as she went, and if a group of children happened to be in her path, she ploughed right on through them like a tank, with small people bouncing off her to the left and right.

Now that certainly puts a picture in your head. Yet the sensitivity gurus would presumably change the language to something like, “Head Teacher Trunchbull was a formidable presence whom the diverse student body greatly respected. She walked with great purpose.”

Just doesn’t have the same punch, does it?

To re-write Dahl is a travesty. Yes, he used the word fat, and he described the Earthworm in “James and the Giant Peach” as having “lovely pink” skin, which has now been changed to “lovely smooth skin.” What the heck is wrong with the word “pink?”

An earthworm IS pink, you morons.

Who are these people making such decisions—randomly changing a great author’s prose to chase an ever-changing, incomprehensible woke narrative?

If Puffin was concerned about nasty racial slurs, I might see their point. But now characters can’t be fat? No one can be ugly in this new utopian world, evidently, and a “horse-faced” woman is now just a woman. Kind of loses the plot, don’t you think? Are we going to re-write the Wicked Witch of the West into a beautiful, empowered young woman whose pronouns are they/theirs, and re-cast Hannibal Lecter as a nice boy who suffers from poor judgment?

But to my father I say, thank you for the memories of you reading us these incredible books. To those indiscriminately changing the works of great authors, I go back to the ground-breaking question asked by special counsel for the U.S. Army Joseph Welch of Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950s Senate communism hearings—“have you no sense of decency, sir?

What great works will these wokesters try to rewrite next—J.R.R Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Shakespeare, Maurice Sendak, Charles Dickens? All I know is that we must stop this assault on our history and our communality before we lose it altogether.

Puffin Books—you failed, and you failed badly.

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