Irish author John Banville has blasted the recent edits made to Roald Dahl books, branding them “disgraceful”.
Last month the late author’s estate and publishers revealed that changes would be made to certain books written by Dahl, in order to suit a modern audience.
Such books affected included The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda among others.
One example includes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory character Augustus Gloop being referred to as “enormous” as opposed to “fat”.
Other changes include the removal of the words “weird African language” from The Twits, along with words such as “crazy” and “mad” due to metal health concerns.
However, Booker Prize winning Irish author John Banville has become the latest household name to criticise these alterations to Dahl’s works.
“It’s childish”, Booker stated. “Children love Roald Dahl because he’s so awful. Children are completely ruthless”.
“Robert Louis Stevenson used to call his books like Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde ‘crawlers’, books that make your flesh crawl”, he continued. “Children love that and it’s good for them. But also, you must not change the text”.
“Better to suppress the text altogether than to change it. That’s an outrage. And Roald Dahl is dead, he can’t defend himself”.
John Banville also issued a resounding reply when asked if he would let somebody edit his works.
“I’d tell them ‘No!’”, he insisted. “It could be that my work is changed after I’m dead by some 23-year-old failed creative writing class person with a grudge. That’s a horrible prospect”.
He added, “But this is a fad that will pass with other fads, but a lot of damage will be done”.
These changes to Roald Dahl’s books were also castigated by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. He insisted that these books should be “preserved and not airbrushed”.
“When it comes to our rich and varied literary heritage, the prime minister agrees with the BFG that we shouldn’t gobblefunk around with words”, a spokesperson on Sunak’s behalf said.