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Hermetic Library Newsletter #110

it’s an important thing to actually implement some more of what I’ve been talking about doing for so long

Howdy everyone! Here’s a public summary of my activity this week ending March 3, 2023!

This week I did a ton of stuff with Hermeneuticon and Concordance, following along with what I was focused on last week. I also added some new material to The Winged Beetle, a ~1927 Crowley essay The Method of Thelema, and lots of other stuff, I’ll list below, as usual. [Edit: I completed forgot to mention that I’ve also gone back and added another 5 old newsletters to the blog!]

Plus the usual weekly stuff like almanac, propaganda, calendar, zine, updates, quotes, reviews, and more!

And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting and being a guest of Hermetic Library. You help me be of service and make the work of the library meaningful. Especial thanks to each and every ongoing Patron on Patreon, Subscriber at Bandcamp, and Member on Ko-Fi for making the work of the library possible!

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Retconned Dahl made nice

Augustus Gloop no longer fat as Roald Dahl goes PC. Sensitivity readers were hired to scrutinise the text with parts rewritten for a modern audience.”

“Publisher Puffin has hired a team of sensitivity readers to make massive changes to several of Roald Dahl’s children’s books in an effort to make them align with the times. According to The Telegraph, the most notable changes will be made to the physical descriptions of characters that could now be deemed offensive. Where as the character Augustus Gloop in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ was previously described as being ‘fat,’ he will now be written as ‘enormous’ in new editions. The use of the word ‘ugly’ to describe a character will also be changed, such as in the case of the character Mrs Twit in ‘The Twits,’ who will now be called ‘beastly’ instead. Other big changes are being made to gender specific character descriptions, swapping ‘female’ with ‘woman,’ or doing away with the mention of gender altogether. The Oompa Loompas, a favorite from Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ will now be called “small people” rather than ‘small men,’ as they had been when the book was first published in 1964.” “In addition to the edits, which will also include chunks of new text not found in the original works, a notice at the bottom of each new edition will read ‘The wonderful words of Roald Dahl can transport you to different worlds and introduce you to the most marvellous characters. This book was written many years ago, and so we regularly review the language to ensure that it can continue to be enjoyed by all today.'”—”Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ rewritten to include gender neutral Oompa Loompas. Publisher Puffin is using sensitivity readers to make big changes to a variety of Dahl’s children’s books”

“New editions of the works of Roald Dahl — the best-selling British novelist whose children’s classics include ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ ‘Matilda’ and ‘James and the Giant Peach’ — have been rewritten in an effort to make them less offensive and more inclusive, according to a representative from the author’s estate. The changes have prompted widespread criticism from prominent literary figures and others, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain. The books’ publisher, Puffin Books, and the author’s estate did not immediately respond to questions about the nature of the changes.”—”Roald Dahl’s Books Are Rewritten to Cut Potentially Offensive Language. New editions of the best-selling author’s children’s classics, including ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ have been altered to eliminate words deemed inappropriate. A backlash ensued.”

“His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman feels generally lukewarm on the project, telling BBC 4, ‘If it does offend us, let him go out of print.’ Rather than fuss with newly gender-neutral (yet enslaved) oompa loompas, he recommended people diversify their intake of contemporaries: Read Phil Earle, SF Said, Frances Hardinge, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman. Read Mini Grey, Helen Cooper, Jaqueline Wilson, Beverley Naidoo. Read all these wonderful authors who are writing today who don’t get as much of a look-in because of the massive commercial gravity of people like Roald Dahl.”—”Literary giants have thoughts on the new edits to Roald Dahl’s works. Literary giants have thoughts on the new edits to Roald Dahl’s works.”

“Critics are accusing the British publisher of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books of censorship after it removed colorful language from works such as ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Matilda’ to make them more acceptable to modern readers.”—”Critics reject changes to Roald Dahl books as censorship

Let Kids Read Roald Dahl’s Books the Way He Wrote Them. The beloved author’s books are being edited by their publisher to suit contemporary sensibilities. That robs us of the author’s vision—and any sense of history.”

“I am bracing myself for the outrage from right-wingers that classic works are being destroyed by the forces of political correctness and that the gender fascists are indoctrinating children against men. Remember how they got hot and bothered when the estate of Dr Seuss withdrew certain titles because they felt that they were not in keeping with current sentiments? … But there are people making more nuanced criticisms of these changes.”—”Changing the language in children’s books

“It feels like a bait and switch, ignoring the very real issues with the writer while labeling as bad, wrong or offensive words that have no such inherent value.” “The number one rule of writing for children? Don’t talk down to them, don’t underestimate them. It’s a rule that Dahl, for all his issues, understood. But years later, his censors seem not to.”—”Against the bait and switch censorship of Roald Dahl. There are issues with the children’s book writer, but they’re not the words ‘fat’ or ‘men'”

Hermetic Library Omnium Reconned Dahl Made Nice

Update 24feb2023: “We’ve listened to the debate over the past week which has reaffirmed the extraordinary power of Roald Dahl’s books, and the very real questions around how stories from another era can be kept relevant for each new generation.”—”Roald Dahl: Original books to be kept in print following criticism. Roald Dahl’s books are to be printed in their original form, following criticism of the decision to amend novels including The BFG, making them more suitable for modern audiences.”

Update 1mar2023: “There have been some interesting followups to the controversy over the decision of the Roald Dahl’s estate and publishers to revise his books to remove some language and ideas that are now seen as offensive. One item that emerged was that Dahl in his own lifetime was willing to change his books in response to opposition and to accommodate the changing cultural ethos so that his books would continue to sell and be adapted to other media.”—”The Roald Dahl books controversy revisited

Update 5mar2023: “Owners of Roald Dahl ebooks are having their libraries automatically updated with the new censored versions containing hundreds of changes to language related to weight, mental health, violence, gender and race. Readers who bought electronic versions of the writer’s books, such as Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, before the controversial updates have discovered their copies have now been changed.”—”Roald Dahl ebooks ‘force censored versions on readers’ despite backlash. Puffin announces plans to publish a classic collection as it emerges online libraries are being automatically updated with sensitivity changes.”