(PatriotWise.com) — Digital versions of Roald Dahl’s books have already been made “woke” with updates and edits to take account of modern-day sensitivity. Words including “ugly” and “fat” have been removed. Publisher Puffin said the move was intended to protect children, but following an outcry about censorship, they announced that the original versions, published by Penguin, will also be available. “We also recognize the importance of keeping Dahl’s classic texts in print. By making both Puffin and Penguin versions available, we are offering readers the choice to decide how they experience Roald Dahl’s magical, marvelous stories,” said the publisher.
In February, Puffin specifically hired so-called “sensitivity readers” to review the novels that were originally written in the 1960s by the British author. Hundreds of changes were made across the collection and some paragraphs were inserted. Alterations have been made to his classic works including James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and Chocolate Factory. The Oompa Loompas that feature in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have been transformed from “little men” to “little people.”
The publisher carried out the work in partnership with a group called Inclusive Minds. This organization describes itself as a “collaboration of consultants and campaigners with a passion for inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s literature.”
It was revealed recently that a second British novelist to have his works edited is Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. A special collection is to be released to mark the 70th anniversary of the first Bond novel Casino Royale. These too have been edited by “sensitivity readers” and all references to the ethnicity of characters have been removed. The new collection will also come with a warning on its packaging: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.”
Critics argue that sanitizing literature is an insidious form of soft censorship. Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed at an event in New York by an assailant who was offended by one of his novels, called the changes “absurd.”
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