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  • Writer's pictureClarke Wallace

cleansing books a no no

Those who don’t like sexual activity in a novel, and have the power to delete it from a manuscript, are killing in my mind a dead horse.

This happened to the late English author Roald Dahl whose latest books have become less vicious according to Tom Rachman, a contributing columnist to the Globe and Mail. This after a ‘cleansing edit by the late author’s publisher, who hopes books like his Charlie and the Chocolate Factory never offend again.”


“Roald Dahl was no angel,” Salman Rushdie has said, “ but this is absurd censorship.”

The same article mentioned the hundreds of changes to Mr. Dahl’s books include the removal of words like ‘fat’ and ‘crazy’. And this: A literary-freedoms group warned that, even if you approve of these alterations, you should worry about those with differing morals reworking other literature.


Author’s comment: Me, in a much smaller way, have published books most of them fiction, with passages of sexual activity which had never been chopped up by an editor to make them less sexy.


Some readers pass over these sections and carry on with the story. Others enjoy it, telling me it gave further depth and understanding to the characters. By the way our son Nathaniel grew up reading Roald Dahl uncensored and loved it.

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