Roald Dahl controversy: Today’s ‘sensitivity readers’ are tomorrow's ‘senseless readers’

Kudos to Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for a novel marketing campaign

The internets are agog with the news that Puffin had hired a bunch of thought-police morons to water down Dahl's works so that a new generation of snowflakes can read them in their safe spaces.

I may have read one short story by Dahl but I have forgotten what it was. I cannot say with authority what his writing was like. Apparently, his over-the-top characters in Matilda was what had endeared his writing to readers for several decades. His fans say that, after the 𝓼𝓮𝓷𝓼𝓲𝓽𝓲𝓿𝓲𝓽𝔂 𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓭𝓮𝓻𝓼 did their memory hole magic, characters now have the strength of a wet noodle.

Old vs. New vs. Why I think the new is problematic

  • Chambermaid — cleaner — Female erasure
  • Old hag — old crow — Speciesism
  • Fat little brown mouse — Little brown mouse — Fat erasure
  • Great horsey face — Face — Speciesism/Ableism
  • Turning white — Turning pale — Pale privilege

Entire sentences have been changed. Many others have been deleted altogether.

Essentially, the new book is Dahl without the Dahlness. That is how the stupid people like it. DULL!

The publisher says that they are trying to introduce an old book to new audiences. The apologist publisher assumes that new readers are stupid. What they also do not say is that the new readers will not get to enjoy the book the same way that all the other readers did before them.

The few grifters hired by the publisher do not cover the entire spectrum of snowflakes. Snowflakes get offended by everything. How can the publisher ASSUME that the new book is not TRIGGERING all the other snowflakes? The publisher must apologize for walking roughshod on the fragile emotions of these idiots. This new mildly censored book must be withdrawn. A broad spectrum of mentally under-developed individuals should be allowed to edit the book until nothing remotely connected to Roald Dahl remains in it.

Of note is the subsequent decision of the publisher to publish the original version under a ‘classic’ label. Profiting off inconsiderate hateful misogynist white-supremacist readers as well!

Excerpts from Journalism from Tennessee by Mark Twain

I was told by the physician that a Southern climate would improve my health, and so I went down to Tennessee, and got a berth on the Morning Glory and Johnson County War-Whoop as associate editor. When I went on duty I found the chief editor sitting tilted back in a three-legged chair with his feet on a pine table. … He told me to take the exchanges and skim through them and write up the Spirit of the Tennessee Press, condensing into the article all of their contents that seemed of interest.

I wrote as follows:


The editors of the Semi-Weekly Earthquake evidently labor under a misapprehension with regard to the Dallyhack railroad. It is not the object of the company to leave Buzzardville off to one side. On the contrary, they consider it one of the most important points along the line, and consequently can have no desire to slight it. The gentlemen of the Earthquake will, of course, take pleasure in making the correction.

John W. Blossom, Esq., the able editor of the Higginsville Thunderbolt and Battle Cry of Freedom, arrived in the city yesterday. He is stopping at the Van Buren House.

We observe that our contemporary of the Mud Springs Morning Howl has fallen into the error of supposing that the election of Van Werter is not an established fact, but he will have discovered his mistake before this reminder reaches him, no doubt. He was doubtless misled by incomplete election returns.

It is pleasant to note that the city of Blathersville is endeavoring to contract with some New York gentlemen to pave its well-nigh impassable streets with the Nicholson pavement. The Daily Hurrah urges the measure with ability, and seems confident of ultimate success.

I passed my manuscript over to the chief editor for acceptance, alteration, or destruction. He glanced at it and his face clouded. He ran his eye down the pages, and his countenance grew portentous. It was easy to see that something was wrong. Presently he sprang up and said: "Thunder and lightning! Do you suppose I am going to speak of those cattle that way? Do you suppose my subscribers are going to stand such gruel as that? Give me the pen!"

I never saw a pen scrape and scratch its way so viciously, or plow through another man's verbs and adjectives so relentlessly. While he was in the midst of his work, somebody shot at him through the open window, and marred the symmetry of my ear.

"Ah," said he, "that is that scoundrel Smith, of the Moral Volcano — he was due yesterday." And he snatched a navy revolver from his belt and fired. Smith dropped, shot in the thigh. The shot spoiled Smith's aim, who was just taking a second chance and he crippled a stranger. It was me. Merely a finger shot off.

Then the chief editor went on with his erasure; and interlineations. Just as he finished them a hand grenade came down the stove-pipe, and the explosion shivered the stove into a thousand fragments. However, it did no further damage, except that a vagrant piece knocked a couple of my teeth out.

"That stove is utterly ruined," said the chief editor.

I said I believed it was.

"Well, no matter--don't want it this kind of weather. I know the man that did it. I'll get him. Now, here is the way this stuff ought to be written."

I took the manuscript. It was scarred with erasures and interlineations till its mother wouldn't have known it if it had had one. It now read as follows:


The inveterate liars of the Semi-Weekly Earthquake are evidently endeavoring to palm off upon a noble and chivalrous people another of their vile and brutal falsehoods with regard to that most glorious conception of the nineteenth century, the Ballyhack railroad. The idea that Buzzardville was to be left off at one side originated in their own fulsome brains--or rather in the settlings which they regard as brains. They had better, swallow this lie if they want to save their abandoned reptile carcasses the cowhiding they so richly deserve.

That ass, Blossom, of the Higginsville Thunderbolt and Battle Cry of Freedom, is down here again sponging at the Van Buren.

We observe that the besotted blackguard of the Mud Springs Morning Howl is giving out, with his usual propensity for lying, that Van Werter is not elected. The heaven-born mission of journalism is to disseminate truth; to eradicate error; to educate, refine, and elevate the tone of public morals and manners, and make all men more gentle, more virtuous, more charitable, and in all ways better, and holier, and happier. And, yet this blackhearted scoundrel degrades his great office persistently to the dissemination of falsehood, calumny, vituperation, and vulgarity.

Blathersville wants a Nicholson pavement--it wants a jail and a poorhouse more. The idea of a pavement in a one-horse town composed of two gin-mills, a blacksmith shop, and that mustard-plaster of a newspaper, the Daily Hurrah! The crawling insect, Buckner, who edits the Hurrah, is braying about his business with his customary imbecility, and imagining that he is talking sense.

"Now that is the way to write--peppery and to the point. Mush-and-milk journalism gives me the fan-tods."

Now, that's editing, ye braying donkeys!

Brietbart article

Old things are great because they are old. If you change them, you lose what made them great.

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