Ursula K Le Guin on Roald Dahl & her children
July 20, 2005
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Letters to the Editor – April 1973
That Mr. Dahl’s books have a very powerful effect on children is evident. Kids between 8 and 11 seem to be truly fascinated by them; one of mine used to finish Charlie and then start it right over from the beginning (she was subject to these fits for about two months at age 11). She was like one possessed while reading it, and for a while after reading she was, for a usually amiable child, quite nasty. Apparently the books, with their wish-fulfillment, their slam-bang action, and their ethical crassness, provide a genuine escape experience, a tiny psychological fugue, very like that provided
by comic books.
Part of an on-line exhibit by The Horn Book.
(We went to see the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie tonight. I didn’t like it all that much–slow paced, and Depp really doesn’t do justice to Wonka. The others with whom I saw it had generally favorable reviews, though.)