July 10, 2005
New Yorker on Roald Dahl
Decent article on Roald Dahl:
Like an indulgent father offering extra helpings of dessert, Dahl was eager to give children more of what they craved: more pictures; more fantasies of mastery; more sly mockery of grouchy, boring adults; more visions of dizzying enjoyment. Recently, a nine-year-old friend of my son's wrote me a letter about why he likes Dahl: "His writing is imaginative and exciting, and after I read 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' I felt like tasting all the candy in the world." It was an excellent way of evoking the delights of Dahl, whose best stories do what G. K. Chesterton, in his essay "The Ethic of Elfland," said that fairy tales did: inspire in children a sense that life "is not only a pleasure but an eccentric privilege." Dahl's purse-lipped critics fail to recognize that his stories don't merely indulge a child's fantasies--they replenish them.
Posted by Bill Stilwell at July 10, 2005 12:49 PM