Author Ingvar Ambjørnsen (66) is shocked by the censorship of Roald Dahl – and on Monday called his own publisher to secure an agreement that no one will be allowed to destroy his books after his death.
– I’m actually quite shocked. I’ve stopped doing these interview things, but now I have to make an exception. Because this smells burnt, says Ingvar Ambjørnsen to VG.
The publisher Puffin and the rights holders of Roald Dahl have decided that the books should be cleaned of offensive language and have commissioned so-called sensitivity readers to go through the authorship.
Ambjørnsen reacts very strongly to this. He thinks it is problematic if Gyldendal is going to accept censorship of words like «fat» and «ugly».
Ambjørnsen is horrified that someone would change the language in the «Pelle and the Proff» books or do something with the title of one of his most famous novels, «White Niggers».
He called his own publisher, Cappelen Damm, to make sure that they will not touch his books when he is gone.
– I have received a verbal assurance that there will be no changes of any kind. I now also want this in writing and have spoken to them today.
– I’m an old man myself, I’m nearly finished. But it is important that the young authors also think along these lines. We should include this in the agreements between publishers and authors, says Ambjørnsen.
However, not everyone thinks this censorship is negative.
Lisa Esohel Knudsen, deputy chair of the think tank Minotenk, believes it is natural for this to happen.
– Language and culture are always changing. These are books that are over 50 years old. So I think it is natural to see where changes can be made, she says to TV 2.
Ambjørnsen is, however, quite clear about what he thinks about the censorship of Roald Dahl:
– It ruins the books. And it’s worrying that his publisher is in charge of this.
Ambjørnsen is shocked at how far the woke society has come and calls the whole thing absurd.
– It has come up from time to time: For example, there have been a lot of complaints about the swearing in the «Pelle and the Proff» series, and it’s not hard to imagine that a publisher would remove the swearing if they wanted to revive this series. And «White niggers» I am regularly asked about.
He points out that a younger reader wrote to him to express his enthusiasm for the book in this way: «White #””&## ers. Thank you very much for a great reading experience!»
But Ambjørnsen is clear:
– That’s what the book is called. And should be called. What we are experiencing now with Roald Dahl is absurd.