Luis Alberto de Cuenca: «Roald Dahl shows that what is childish can be terrible»

Roald Dahl ABC

250 million copies of the author’s books have been sold worldwide

Julio Bravo

Matilda‘, What ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘ and other stories like ‘James and the Giant Peach‘ either ‘The great good-natured giant‘, bear the signature of Roald Dahla writer born in Cardiff (Wales) in 1916 and died in Oxford in 1990. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Louis Albert of Cuenca showcase your passion for this author and explain why you think it should be read. «He perfectly summarizes the story let’s call it comic, with humorous edges, with, on the other hand, a story that reaches everyone, but especially the world of children. He complained, however, that they had pigeonholed him as an author of children’s and youth literature, but he was a genius, and titles like the two that have become musical comedy, but also ‘The great good-natured giant’ and so many others, They are works aimed at children between twelve and fourteen years old, but they also reach the whole world. One can enjoy a lot, without being a child, with ‘Matilda’ or with ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory’».

Louis Albert of Cuenca

Jose Ramon Ladra

Luis Alberto de Cuenca recounts that Roald Dahl began in literature by writing “very dramatic things, also related to his experience in World War II, in which he participated as a pilot for the RAF, the United Kingdom’s air force. There he lived some tremendous experiences, which he transferred to the first stories of him. But then, suddenly, he dispensed with that kind of internalization to free himself from the bad times he went through during the war, explaining his ills with hair and feathers, and became someone modest who did not want to talk about himself, and used characters that they shower fun and sympathy on the reader. Roald Dahl defines himself precisely in that evolution towards a fantasy that is always fun and that has something of a comic in a certain way.

sinister character

Luis Alberto de Cuenca delves into the idea that Roald Dahl’s books are more than just children’s literature. «The story of ‘Matilda’ is terrible, and has a sinister character, Miss Trunchbull. One of the successes of Roald Dahl is to approach the idea that what is childish and youthful can also be terrible. The Brothers Grimm or Perrault were in a way; ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ is a horror story… The new pedagogues, mistakenly, have wanted to soften this type of children’s literature a lot. And I say wrong because terror in the world exists. And precisely those horror stories that have been liked so much, and continue to be liked by children of all generations, what they do is give them weapons to combat that terror; if he doesn’t know him, it’s going to be much more traumatic for him.”

Of ‘Matilda’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ he says that «they are two cruel stories in a certain way and they are full of symbology and originality». And De Cuenca concludes with an affirmation and a lament: «Roald Dahl is a great narrator; he has such a status that I would have liked to see him, for example, be crowned with a Nobel Prize».

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Luis Alberto de Cuenca: «Roald Dahl shows that what is childish can be terrible»