The new chapter of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
Roald Dahl is undoubtedly one of the most beloved and exciting writers of children’s literature. His figure was like that of a grandfather’s who never underestimated his young readers’ imaginative capacity to understand the essential extravagance with which reality is charged.
The wild exaggeration of the themes he developed was his way of reaching out to children, but his black humor allowed adults to appreciate and get involved in his wonderful stories. Today, fifty years after the publishing of his famous novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), which sold more than 13 million copies, British newspaper The Guardian shared a previously unpublished draft of the book’s fifth chapter.
Apparently, the chapter was removed from the first edition after being considered “too wild, subversive and insufficiently moral for the tender minds of British children.” The text contains a description of a “Pounding and cutting room” where knives and machines threaten to cut the children into pieces and turn them into candy. Three children characters that do not appear elsewhere in the story (perhaps because they were chopped up by the cutting machines and later happily devoured by their adventure mates) are also featured. The manuscript was found by his daughter Ophelia in the author’s record cabinet in the entrance hall of the study where he wrote his most famous works.
The publishing of the chapter comes at a fortuitous moment for those who will never cease to miss Dahl’s enchanting narrative style, and his always subversive, charming and sarcastic way of showing us the world.
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