The recent edits to Dahl’s children’s stories are an insult to storytelling itself.
It’s one thing to make minor edits to fiction to reflect changes in taste and meaning. It’s another thing entirely to rewrite or add new writing to a work, which alters the author‘s original vision and intention.
Roald Dahl, whatever his personal character, was an authentic literary genius whose writing for children represents some of the most creative, funny and brilliantly strange children’s literature ever written. If sometimes his stories can be unsettling and edgy, then that is simply because children’s stories, at their best, have always been like that. Creepy, odd and mysterious with outlandish and sinister or bizarre characters are an ancient staple of human storytelling for children which Dahl knew full well and used brilliantly in his writing.
The ‘wig reveal’ in The Witches, is one of the best and creepiest scenes in English literature, and yet has been mucked around by the idiots in these editions, adding a pointless sentence to the end of scene, explaining that some women wear wigs for perfectly good reasons too. Why do this? What does this add to the story? How does it protect anyone or explain anything to them? It doesn’t. In fact it debases and misunderstands not just this story but the actual art of storytelling itself.
The halfwits responsible for defacing Dahl’s work are the Roald Dahl Story Company and some idiotic group of literary vandals called Inclusive Minds, who go around prissily correcting and censoring things they happen not to like.
Just read Dahl’s stories as they were originally written: your children will only be the richer for it.