Philatelia.Net
RussianEnglish
Literature for children
Dmitry Karasyuk's author's project

Philatelia.Net / Literature for children / Plots /

The directory Plots

Dahl Roald
(19161990)
Tales

Dahl Roald (19161990) Tales

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story author and screenwriter of Norwegian parentage, who rose to prominence in the 1940s as a writer for both children and adults.
His most popular books include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches and The BFG.

Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Wales in 1916, to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl née Hesselberg. Dahl's family had moved from Norway and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s. Roald was named after the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway at the time. He spoke Norwegian at home with his parents and sisters. Dahl and his sisters were christened at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped.

In 1920, when Roald was three, his seven-year-old sister, Astri, died from appendicitis. About a month later, his father died of pneumonia at the age of 57, following grief from his daughter's death. Dahl's mother, however, decided not to return to Norway to live with her relatives, but to remain in England since it had been her husband's wish to have their children educated in British schools.

Dahl first attended The Cathedral School, Llandaff. At the age of eight, he and four of his friends were caned by the headmaster after putting a dead mouse in a jar of sweets at the local sweet shop, which was owned by a "mean and loathsome" old woman called Mrs. Pratchett (wife of blacksmith David Pratchett). This was known amongst the five boys as the "Great Mouse Plot of 1923". This was Roald's own idea.

Thereafter, he was sent to several boarding schools in England, including Saint Peter's in Weston-super-Mare. His parents had wanted Roald to be educated at an English public school and at the time, due to a then regular boat link across the Bristol Channel, this proved to be the nearest. His time at Saint Peter's was an unpleasant experience for him. He was very homesick and wrote to his mother almost every day, but never revealed to her his unhappiness. Only when she died did he find out that she had saved every single one of his letters, in small bundles held together with green tape. He later attended Repton School in Derbyshire, where, according to his novel Boy, a friend named Michael was viciously caned by Geoffrey Fisher, the man who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury. This caused Dahl to "have doubts about religion and even about God".
Dahl was very tall, reaching 6'6" (1.98m) in adult life, and he was good at sports, being made captain of the school Fives and Squash team, and also playing for the football team. This helped his popularity. He developed an interest in photography. During his years there, Cadbury, a chocolate company, would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to the school to be tested by the pupils. Dahl himself apparently used to dream of inventing a new chocolate bar that would win the praise of Mr. Cadbury himself, and this proved the inspiration for him to write his third book for children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Dahl spent his summer holidays in his parents' native Norway, mostly enjoying the Fjords. His childhood is the subject of his autobiographical work, Boy: Tales of Childhood.

After finishing his schooling, he spent three weeks hiking through Newfoundland with a group called the Public Schools' Exploring Society (now known as BSES Expeditions). In July 1934, he joined the Shell Petroleum Company. Following two years of training in the UK, he was transferred to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Along with the only two other Shell employees in the entire territory, he lived in luxury in the Shell House outside Dar-es-Salaam, with a cook and personal servants. While on the job, supplying oil to customers across Tanganyika, he encountered black mambas (a type of snake), and lions, amongst other wildlife.

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as "A Piece of Cake". The story, about his wartime adventures, was bought by the Saturday Evening Post for $900, and propelled him into a career as a writer. Its title was inspired by a highly inaccurate and sensationalized article about the crash that blinded him, which claimed he had been shot down instead of simply having to land due to low fuel.

His first children's book was The Gremlins, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore. The book was commissioned by Walt Disney for a film that was never made, and published in 1943. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children's stories of the 20th century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.

He also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending. Many were originally written for American magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Harper's, Playboy and The New Yorker, then subsequently collected by Dahl into anthologies, gaining world-wide acclaim. Dahl wrote more than 60 short stories and they have appeared in numerous collections, some only being published in book form after his death. See List of Roald Dahl short stories. His stories also brought him three Edgar Awards: in 1954, for the collection Someone Like You; in 1959, for the story The Landlady; and in 1980, for the episode of Tales of the Unexpected based on "Skin".

One of his more famous adult stories, The Smoker (also known as Man from the South), was filmed as an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and also adapted into Quentin Tarantino's segment of the 1995 film Four Rooms. This bizarre, oft-anthologized, suspense classic concerns a man residing in Jamaica who wagers with visitors in an attempt to claim the fingers from their hands.

His short story collection Tales of the Unexpected was adapted to a successful TV series of the same name. When the stock of Dahl's own original stories was exhausted, the series continued by adapting stories by authors that were written in Dahl's style, including the American writers John Collier and Stanley Ellin.

A number of his short stories are supposed to be extracts from the diary of his (fictional) Uncle Oswald, a rich gentleman whose sexual exploits form the subject of these stories.
For a brief, relatively unsuccessful period in the 1960s, Dahl wrote screenplays. Two of his screenplays the James Bond film You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were adaptations of novels by Ian Fleming. Dahl also wrote an initial draft adapting his own novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was heavily rewritten by David Seltzer, and produced as the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). Dahl later disowned the film.

Memories with Food at Gipsy House, written with his wife Felicity and published posthumously in 1991, was a mixture of recipes, family reminiscences and Dahl's musings on favourite subjects such as chocolate, onions, and claret.

Dahl's children's works are usually told from the point of view of a child. They typically involve adult villainesses who hate and mistreat children, and feature at least one "good" adult to counteract the villain(s). These stock characters are possibly a reference to the abuse that Dahl himself experienced in the boarding schools he attended. They usually contain a lot of black humour and grotesque scenarios, including gruesome violence. The Witches, George's Marvelous Medicine and Matilda are examples of this formula. The BFG follows it in a more analogous way with the good giant (the BFG or "Big Friendly Giant") representing the "good adult" archetype and the other giants being the "bad adults". This formula is also somewhat evident in Dahl's film script for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Class-conscious themes ranging from the thinly veiled to the blatant also surface in works such as Fantastic Mr Fox and Danny, the Champion of the World. Dahl also features in his books characters that are very fat, usually children. Augustus Gloop, Bruce Bogtrotter, and Bruno Jenkins are a few of these characters, although an enormous woman named Aunt Sponge is featured in James and The Giant Peach. All of these characters (with the possible exception of Bruce Bogtrotter) are either villains or simply unpleasant gluttons. They are usually punished for this: Augustus Gloop drinks from Willy Wonka's chocolate river, disregarding the adults who tell him not to, and falls in, getting sucked up a pipe and nearly being turned into fudge. Bruce Bogtrotter steals cake from the evil headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and is forced to eat a gigantic chocolate cake in front of the school. Bruno Jenkins is turned into a mouse by witches and, it is speculated, possibly disowned or even killed by his parents because of this. Aunt Sponge is flattened by a giant peach.

Dahl's mother used to tell him and his sisters tales about trolls and other mythical Norwegian creatures and some of his children's books contain references or elements inspired by these stories, such as the giants in The BFG.

Many of his children's books are illustrated by Quentin Blake.


Gibraltar, 2010, Charlie and Chocolate Factory

Gibraltar, 2010, Matilda

Gibraltar, 2010, The Twits

Gibraltar, 2010, The BFG

Great Britain, 1993, The Big Friendly Giant and Sophie

Great Britain, 2006, The Enormous Crocodile

Great Britain, 2008, Scene from film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Great Britain, 2012, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Great Britain, 2012, Fantastic Mr Fox

Great Britain, 2012, James and the Giant Peach

Great Britain, 2012, Matilda

Great Britain, 2012, The Twits

Great Britain, 2012, The Witches

Great Britain, 2012, The BFG and Sophie

Sweden, 2000, Lego-car, transformer and Gremlin

Gibraltar, 2010.05.15, Gibraltar. Roald Dahl

Great Britain, 1993.02.02, Great Missenden Bucks. The Roald Dahl Foundation

Advertising:

2003-2022 Dmitry Karasyuk. Idea, preparation, drawing up
  "Web" @Mail.ru Rambler's Top100 liveinternet.ru:     24 ,   24