Non! French publisher won’t update Roald Dahl’s children’s books

Non! French publisher won’t update Roald Dahl’s children’s books
Опубликовано: Tuesday, 21 February 2023 15:03

‘This rewrite is only about Britain,’ French publisher Gallimard Youth says.

Roald Dahl’s French publisher Gallimard said it does not intend to change the texts of Dahl’s children’s books, wading into the row about rewrites of their English versions.

“This rewrite is only about Britain. We have never modified Roald Dahl’s texts, and to date it is not in the pipeline,” a spokeswoman for Gallimard Youth told AFP on Tuesday.

The statement comes after revelations that Dahl’s estate and English publisher Puffin Books had decided to make changes to the books, including “The BFG” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” to make them more suitable for modern audiences.

New edits include the removal of any reference to Oompa Loompas as “small men” — they’re now called “small people” — and the removal of the word “fat” from every book. The changes were initially reported by the Telegraph newspaper.

“When reprinting books written years ago, it is not unusual to review the language used and update other elements such as cover and layout,” said a spokesman of the Roald Dahl Company, the company that manages the works.

But the decision sparked immediate pushback, with British-American novelist Salman Rushdie saying they should be “ashamed” and free expression group PEN America saying they are “alarmed” about the numerous changes in the books.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also spoke out against the move, while others consider the changes a good thing, with author Philip Pullman even going one step further and suggesting Dahl’s work should be allowed to go out of print and be replaced by more modern children’s writers.

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