French publishers Gallimard have said that they will not follow English-language publisher Puffin in changing some of the wording of the late author’s children’s books, a move that has caused widespread outrage in the UK.
“This rewrite only concerns Britain,” a spokesperson said. “We have never changed Roald Dahl’s writings before, and we have no plans to do so today.”
Puffin have made several hundred changes to the language and even the gender of some characters to bring the works into line with current trends in political correctness in Britain.
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the character Augustus Gloop is no longer fat, but enormous, while the Oompa-Loompas are now gender-neutral in the English-language version.
Possibly worse, Cloud-Men in James and the Giant Peach are now Cloud-People.
French translator and commentator Bérengère Viennot said that “a rewritten Roald Dahl novel is no longer a Roald Dahl novel”.
She said the changes were “unacceptable on several levels… They’re not fooling anybody, this is censorship disguised as an update.”
PHOTOS: Top, Augustus Gloop, below, Bérengère Viennot