• Sat, Sep 3 2011

A Letter from Roald Dahl

Did you guys read Roald Dahl when you were kids? I sure did. Matilda was my favorite book, and somehow, I managed not to end up terrified of every teacher I ever had, even after reading it. Now, elementary-school-me didn’t really know that much about the author of my favorite book, but frankly, I didn’t really care. It was only when I got older that I found out that Roald Dahl was REALLY, REALLY WEIRD. I suppose the types of stories he wrote should have been an early indication of his weirdness, but much is lost on the young. Anyway, I’m probably lucky that by the time I started reading his books, he was dead, which meant that I couldn’t try to send him letters. These kids weren’t so lucky.

In 1983, a class of school children, aided by their teacher, sent Mr. Dahl a letter asking him some questions about his short story collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More. This is the response he sent back. Not only does he refuse to answer their questions, but even worse, he appears to have designed most of the letter to fuck with their tiny little heads. A woman with a beard? A farmer who eats mice? I’m sorry, what?

I’m really glad I wasn’t the teacher that had to explain that one to the kids.

[Via Filmdrunk]

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
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  • Gamgee

    I actually think the letter is kind of cute. It’s quirky, much like Dahl’s books. It’s something you’d kind of expect from him. But that’s my opinion, really.

  • Mockingbird

    How weird Roald Dahl is really hit home for me when I read an article in the New Yorker. During WWII he was an intelligence officer for MI6. Apparently his assignment was to seduce the wives of important enemy officers in order to get them to tell him secrets as pillow talk.