Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot of Norwegian descent, famous as a writer for both children and adults. His writing career began in 1942 when he compiled his experiences in World War II and had them published in the Post. In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, often very dark humour. Two of his most famous works are James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity; maybe it's a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn't just pick on them for no reason.
- As quoted in New Statesman (1983); partly quoted in "The Candy Man" by Margaret Talbot in The New Yorker (11 July 2005)
- You know, I'm not frightened. It's just that I will miss you all so much.
- Dahl's second-to-last words, hoping they will be profound
- Oh, f**k!
- Dahl's last words, after being injected with morphine to help him die easier.
- A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
- "Goodbye school" in Boy: Tales of Childhood (1984)
- It was all this, I think, that made me begin to have doubts about religion and even about God. If this person, I kept telling myself, was one of God’s chosen salesmen on earth, then there must be something very wrong about the whole business.
- "The Headmaster" in Boy: Tales of Childhood (1984)
- It began in 1982 when the Israelis invaded Lebanon.
They killed 22,000 civilians when they bombed Beirut.
It was very much hushed up in the newspapers because they are primarily Jewish-owned.
I’m certainly anti-Israeli and I’ve become antisemitic in as much as that you get a Jewish person in another country like England strongly supporting Zionism.
I think they should see both sides.
It’s the same old thing:
we all know about Jews and the rest of it.
There aren’t any non-Jewish publishers anywhere, they control the media – jolly clever thing to do – that’s why the president of the United States has to sell all this stuff to Israel … ”
- 1990 interview with The Independent, quoted November 2018 by The Guardian
- "There's enough chocolate in there to fill every bathtub in the entire country! And all the swimming pools as well!"
- Ch. 15, "The Chocolate Room"
- "It is very difficult to phone people in China, Mr. President," said the Postmaster General, "The country is so full of Wings and Wongs, every time you wing you get the wong number."
- Ch. 4, "The President" (p. 34 in the 1984 Bantam edition)
- "A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”
- Ch. 12, 'Back to The Chocolate Factory' (p.88 in the Paperback edition (1998) from Puffin)
- Not original to this work, the proverb dates from at least the 18th century.
Danny, the Champion of the World (1975)
- Grown-ups are quirky creatures, full of quirks and secrets.
- A Message to Children Who Have Read This Book - When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: a stodgy parent is no fun at all. What a child wants and deserves is a parent who is SPARKY.
My Uncle Oswald (1979)
- "I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good, either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be."
- "The matter with human beans," the BFG went on, "is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles."
- "Dreams is very mystical things," the BFG said. "Human beans is not understanding them at all. Not even their brainiest professors is understanding them."
- "Cool Dreams"
- Two rights don't equal a left.
- "Ah, but they is not killing their own kind," the BFG said. "Human beans is the only animals that is killing their own kind."
The Witches (1983)
- It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.
- "The Heart of a Mouse"
The Minpins (1991)
- Little Billy’s mother was always telling him exactly what he was allowed to do and what he was not allowed to do. All the things he was allowed to do were boring. All the things he was not allowed to do were exciting. One of the things he NEVER NEVER was allowed to do, the most exciting of them all, was to go out through the garden gate all by himself and explore the world beyond.
- And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
- Official website
- Roald Dahl Foundation website
- Roald Dahl Museum
- Roald Dahl on IMDb
- Roald Dahl at the Notable Names Database
- Find-A-Grave profile for Roald Dahl
- Bibliography at Fantastic Fiction
- Bibliography at ISFDB
- A guide to finding sources and literature about Roald Dahl, by Kelly Harkrader
- "The Candy Man" by Margaret Talbot in The New Yorker (11 July 2005)
- The Way Out television series