By Brian Woledge
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Extra resources for L’âtre périlleux, roman de la Table Ronde
Dahl’s stories often do focus on the grotesque and the cruel and many adults have objected to them on these grounds. However, they are unfailingly popular and our respondents listed virtually all his works, the most popular being Danny, the Champion of the World (1975), The Twits (1980), George’s Marvellous Medicine (1981), The BFG (1982), The Witches (1983) and Matilda (1988) as well as the two cited above. Because of his very great popularity and the fact that he is very much, in our view, an amalgam of all the traditions Dahl will be the focus of our attention in terms of linguistic description more than once in succeeding chapters and we reserve further comment for now.
Notice here again the fusing of the strands with adventure, fantasy and magic. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) is a world best seller though it has attracted criticism for its portrayal of the Ompa-Loompas and its depiction of Charlie’s aged grandparents. This work illustrates what Inglis (1981:236) feels is the essential contribution of Dahl in that he has ‘a vigorous feel for the raucous, crude vengefulness of children’. Dahl’s stories often do focus on the grotesque and the cruel and many adults have objected to them on these grounds.
Little Women is not one of our selected texts as we feel it represents a different tradition and one worthy of study in its own right. Of British writers, British girls in the nineteenth century, while showing an inclination for traditional juvenile fiction, also indicated the popularity of writers of fantasy and of fairytales and this is reflected in our discussions in chapters 5 and 6. If we appear to have given less attention to the developments of the last forty years this is solely for reasons of space.