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Roald Dahl's books edited to be more 'inclusive'

  • 21-02-2023 5:42am
    Registered Users Posts: 40

    As someone who loved Roald Dahl's books when I was a child, and who has bought his collected works for my own children last year, I was saddened and I have to say creeped out by the revelation that Penguin worked with a diversity / equity / inclusion entity to re-write sentences throughout his stories.

    How on earth anyone thought this was a good idea I don't know. Will some DEI major take the scalpel to Dickens and Austen next?

    Post edited by Raichu on



  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 6,680 Mod ✭✭✭✭Raichu

    mod this has been moved to Current Affairs/IMHO. Local Charter is now in force.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,824 ✭✭✭De Bhál

    should be left alone, where does it stop?

    In 100 more years the books would have little likeness to the original after multiple edits to keep everyone happy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,393 ✭✭✭✭astrofool

    To be fair, this has been done extensively with the bible and has also occurred with Shakespeare (not that I agree with what they have done with Dahl).

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,393 ✭✭✭✭astrofool

    Funnily enough, AI would be highly unlikely to make these changes and would probably make the books less "inclusive".

    It's us humans that are the problem in this instance :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,220 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark

    The bible isn't suitable reading for kids - far too much gratuitous sex and violence 😉

    Vegetable rights and peace ✌️

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  • Registered Users Posts: 39,987 ✭✭✭✭ohnonotgmail

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,065 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    All those old books, CDs ... will become very valuable until they come knocking looking for them to be burned.

    Any subscription service or online connected digital media will be updated.

    Also, wondering if publishers are doing this to generate free advertising and re sell old books.

    Also, this always springs to mind

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,320 ✭✭✭archfi

    This sort of shyte is making me rethink keeping me Kindle tbh, nevermind the fact I could be shut out of it on a whim of Amazon.

    I'll have to look into ripping my ebooks and making them available to any other device.

    The issue is never the issue; the issue is always the revolution.

    The Entryism process: 1) Demand access; 2) Demand accommodation; 3) Demand a seat at the table; 4) Demand to run the table; 5) Demand to run the institution; 6) Run the institution to produce more activists and policy until they run it into the ground.

  • Registered Users Posts: 80,063 ✭✭✭✭Overheal

    This is ridiculous.

    Next will there be a trans-inclusionary edit of the Harry Potter series?

    An anti-semitism-free version of the Merchant of Venice?

    And Dahl wrote - a lot. Many of them adapted into movies. Why does he of all people get the treatment?

    Perhaps it’s just a stunt to get people to preserve older books instead of banning and burning them 🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 39,169 ✭✭✭✭Boggles

    Mr. Dahl was a pretty keen anti-Semite himself.

    His works at this stage are incredibly dated - but are still a mega industry, more for nostalgia reasons than value I reckon.

    I don't think removing the word "fatty" will make them better or worse TBH. But people love outrage.

    There is some cracking works from Irish authors at the moment, best support them then to feed into the multiples of 100s of millions that Dahl empire makes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 80,063 ✭✭✭✭Overheal

    If his characters or narrators even are fat shamers, then they are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 40,287 ✭✭✭✭Gatling

    It's going to happen every book will eventually be rewritten to change characters to a scobby gang ,black , asian,gay ,trans ,black , Latino, Muslim,vegans ,

    To show how inclusive we are ,

    Wonder when they will want historical painted to cover everyone who's a minority,I'm sure mona Lisa will be considered for a retouch

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,204 ✭✭✭✭ArmaniJeanss

    It's usually a commercial decision taken by the publishers to head off potential controversy, and keep the book on school lists and library lists.

    Has happened to most of the Blython books as mentioned, Agatha Christie with literally the best-selling crime fiction book of all time (Ten Little Niggérs now known as And Then There Were None), Mark Twain and some of his more colorful language in the Huck Finn books. Plenty of others too, I'm sure. And more regularly there'll be less controversial changes to replace obsolete words/expressions.

    One of the basic objections (that the original first edition is sacrosanct as it was exactly as desired by the author) is curious really. As if editors back then just verbatim went with the authors draft/manuscript.

  • Registered Users Posts: 470 ✭✭archermoo

    Wait. So does this mean that the copyright holders of books aren't allowed to make changes to them? Because the changes were made by Puffin and The Roald Dahl Story Company (who manages the copyrights for Dahl's books) to update the books for modern audiences. It seems to me that if the copyright holder wants to make changes to the works that they own they have every right to do so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,335 ✭✭✭Furze99

    Disgraceful and just how the publishing industry loses respect and customers.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,205 ✭✭✭cruizer101

    Yes, just because you are the copyright holder that doesn't mean you should be allowed change the original content, copyright can be bought and sold. The owner of the copyright does not necessarily have the best intentions of the original author.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,565 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    There is a rather obvious and chasm-like difference between an author agreeing to a suggested change by an editor and changes made without the input of the author.

    Of course they are legally allowed - that is how they have managed to do it. This does not change whether or not it is a good, or desirable concept.

    And though, in many ways irrelevant, it does not help that many of the changes are simply bad.

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