Culture

Roald Dahl Originally Envisioned ‘Charlie’ as a Black Character

Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum in ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’/Image © Paramount Pictures

Editor's Note:

Here’s something you never knew about Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! This tidbit and more in today’s Daily Blunt.

Just when you think you understand the past, the present intervenes in surprising ways. Liccy Dahl, the widow of world-famous author Roald Dahl, has revealed that the titular hero of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was intended to be “a little black boy,” and biographer Donald Sturrock confirms that Dahl was ultimately dissuaded from this choice by his agent at the time (this would have been in the early ’60s): “‘She said people would ask: ‘Why?'” As it turns out, that question has merely been deferred fifty years, and so has the obvious answer: “Why not?”

Americans have grown obsessed with the kind of lifestyle tips provided in books like French Women Don’t Get Fat, but Gabrielle Deydier’s new book is here to tear away the curtain surrounding that French mystique. In You’re Not Born Fat, the author shares her experiences as a larger woman living in France, where “being fat is considered to be a grotesque self-inflicted disability.” While America has its own problems related to sizeism, we clearly don’t have a monopoly on this kind of social pressure.

Hurricane survivors, don’t despair over your rain-soaked libraries: You won’t have to replace everything if you follow these easy steps for book rescue, as presented by Open Culture. This video tutorial was recorded by Syracuse University Libraries, who know a thing or two about averting the disaster that occurs “when water and paper meet.” Be sure to share this with your friends in affected areas, once the power’s back on!

At this point no one should have to be reminded that movie theaters are a no-chatter zone, but just in case, Alamo Drafthouse has filmed a new No Talking PSA starring one of the young stars of “It.” Little Jackson Robert Scott, who plays the doomed Georgie Denbrough, wants the world to know what awaits those who talk over his scenes. Be sure to silence your cell phones as well, or else you’ll float too.