DAHL, Roald


DAHL, Roald
(1916-1990)
   Welsh-born writer of Norwegian parents who spent periods of his life in the USA, but lived in the UK in his later years; married to the actress Patricia Neal 1953-83. Though his enormous success as an author of children's stories tended to dominate perceptions of his career, he was in fact long best known for his eerie, exquisitely crafted, somewhat poisonous adult tales, many of them fantasies, assembled in Someone Like You (coll 1953 US; exp 1961 UK), Kiss Kiss (coll 1960 US), Switch Bitch (coll 1974 US) and several later collections which often included previous material: The Best of Roald Dahl (coll 1978 US); Tales of the Unexpected (coll 1979) and More Roald Dahl Tales of the Unexpected (coll 1980; vt More Tales of the Unexpected 1980; vt Further Tales of the Unexpected 1981), both assembled as Roald Dahl's Completely Unexpected Tales (omni 1986); Two Fables (coll 1986 chap); Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life (coll 1989); and the posthumous The Collected Short Stories (coll 1991), which includes further work. Not infrequently these stories make use of borderline sf images, such as the unpleasant metamorphosis of human into bee in "Royal Jelly" (1960); but more generally it is the threat of sf or supernatural displacement that powers them.RD's first title was a children's fantasy, The Gremlins (1943 chap US), a short story that became famous because Walt Disney dickered for a time with making an animated film of it (there is no connection with the much later Joe DANTE film Gremlins). His only sf novel, Some Time Never: A Fable for Supermen (1948 US), by some margin his worst book, recasts the tale for an adult audience. After attempting to sabotage humanity during WWII, the long-submerged gremlins see that we ourselves are doing the job quite adequately; they take back control of the planet after the nuclear WWIV, but then become extinct in a world bare of humanity. The strained and sour whimsy of this "fable" might be seen - according to RD's critics - as passing directly into his juvenile fantasies, though it would probably be fairer to acknowledge a world of difference between adult spitefulness and the exuberant child's-eye view of grown-ups and the meting of justice unto them presented in James and the Giant Peach (1961 US) and all its successors, the most famous being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964 US), filmed as Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971); it was assembled with its sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1972 US), as The Complete Adventures of Charlie and Mr Willy Wonka (omni 1987). RD also wrote the screenplay for the James Bond film YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967). One late novel for adults followed, the quasi-historical, borderline- STEAMPUNK My Uncle Oswald (1979), which plays with the notion of "tapping" geniuses such as Freud and Shaw for purposes of artificial insemination - spermpunk, in short.But the adult work was, in the end, miserly; the stories for children were, in the end, generously wicked gifts of fable.
   JC
   Other works for adults: Over to You (coll 1946 US), associational; Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl (coll 1969), a compilation; Boy: Tales of Childhood (1984) and Going Solo (1986), autobiographical; Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories (anth 1983).
   For children: The Magic Finger (1966 chap US); Fantastic Mr Fox (1970 chap); Danny, the Champion of the World (1975); The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (coll 1977; vt The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar 1977 US); The Enormous Crocodile (1978); The Twits (1980 chap); George's Marvellous Medicine (1981); The BFG (1982); The Witches (1983); The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (1985); Matilda (1988); Esio Trot (1990 chap), associational; The Minipins (1991 chap).
   About the author: Roald Dahl (1983) by Chris Dowling.
   See also: HUMOUR; SATIRE.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dahl, Roald — born Sept. 13, 1916, Llandaff, Wales died Nov. 23, 1990, Oxford, Eng. British writer. A fighter pilot during World War II, he began his writing career when C.S. Forester encouraged him to write about his combat adventures; they were published by… …   Universalium

  • Dahl, Roald — (13 sep. 1916, Llandaff, Gales–23 nov. 1990, Oxford, Inglaterra). Escritor británico. Fue piloto de combate durante la segunda guerra mundial. Su carrera literaria comenzó después de que C.S. Forester lo animara a escribir sobre sus experiencias… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Roald Dahl — in 1954 Born 13 September 1916(1916 09 13) Llandaff, Llandaff, Wales, United Kingdom Died 23 Novembe …   Wikipedia

  • Roald Dalh — Roald Dahl Pour les articles homonymes, voir Dahl. Roald Dahl et Patricia Neal photographiés par Carl Van Vechten, le 20 avril 1954 Roald Dahl (13 septembre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roald Dahl — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Roald Dahl Roald Dahl en 1954 Nombre Roald Dahl Na …   Wikipedia Español

  • Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes — ist eine Gedichtsammlung von Roald Dahl, die 1982 erschienen ist. Sie besteht aus sechs Gedichten, die jeweils ein bekanntes Märchen neu erzählen, wobei die Handlung überraschende, oft zynische Wendungen nimmt. Das Buch wurde von Quentin Blake… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roald Dahl — [Roald Dahl] (1916–90) a British author best known for his very popular children’s books. These include James and the Giant Peach (1962), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), The BFG (1982) and Matilda (1988), all of which have been …   Useful english dictionary

  • Roald Dahl — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Dahl. Roald Dahl …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roald Dahl — und Patricia Neal 1954, Fotografie von Carl van Vechten Roald Dahl (* 13. September 1916 in Llandaff bei Cardiff, Wales; † 23. November 1990 in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire) war ein norwegisch walisischer Schriftsteller. Er verfasste …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roald Dahl Plass — next to the Wales Millennium Centre Roald Dahl Plass (Welsh: Plas Roald Dahl) is a public plaza in Cardiff Bay, part of Cardiff, Wales. It is named after Cardiff born author Roald Dahl …   Wikipedia

  • DAHL (R.) — Roald DAHL 1916 1990 Né en 1916 au pays de Galles de parents norvégiens, Roald Dahl vit une enfance peu facile: il perd sa sœur aînée puis son père, courtier maritime, à l’âge de trois ans. Il est élevé au pensionnat de Repton School dans le… …   Encyclopédie Universelle


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