The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Roald Dahl’

Chocolate: A Confession

January 30, 2014 | by

drowning_in_chocolate

A still from Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005.

Even at my loneliest and most cynical, I have always liked Valentine’s Day. The commercialized romance bothers me not a whit—I like watching couples being romantic, or awkward, or goofy. But this I will say: for those of us who don’t love chocolate, the onset of February is, well, disheartening.

Nowadays, scientists like to point to the fact that eating chocolate somehow mimics the physiological characteristics of female arousal, but one doubts that science is behind the ubiquity of the heart-shaped variety box. After all, the whole connection between chocolate and courtship goes back to the nineteenth century. I’m no historian, but I’d imagine it’s more a “sweets for the sweet” bit of marketing that struck an immediate chord.

If we are going to talk about amateur modern chocolate historians, Roald Dahl cannot be ignored. As anyone familiar with his oeuvre knows, the man loved chocolate. But the full extent of his feelings cannot be understood until one has read the manifesto “Chocolate,” in his highly idiosyncratic Roald Dahl’s Cookbook. Talking of what he terms the “Chocolate Revolution” of 1930–37, Dahl declares,

The dates themselves should be taught in school to every child. Never mind about 1066 William the Conqueror, 1087 William the Second. Such things are not going to affect one’s life. But 1932 the Mars Bar and 1936 Maltesers, and 1937 the Kit Kat—these dates are milestones in history and should be seared into the mind of every child in the country. If I were a headmaster I would get rid of the history teacher and get a chocolate teacher instead and my pupils would study a subject that affected all of them.

(Not that one imagines he went in much for Valentine’s Day.) Read More »

Comments Off

On Chocolate

September 13, 2013 | by

wonkabarlarge

“For the record, I am not overly fond of chocolate-flavoured foods such as chocolate cake and chocolate ice-cream. I prefer my chocolate straight.” —Roald Dahl, The Chocolate Revolution

 

NO COMMENTS

Austen Ousts Darwin, and Other News

July 26, 2013 | by

Jane Austen banknote

  • Jane Austen is indeed replacing Darwin on the £10 note.
  • Margaret Atwood has written an opera, fifteen years in development, about the poet Pauline Johnson.
  • The letters of Roald Dahl, spanning most of his life, will be published in 2016.
  • This map, a “chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the comings and goings of characters in the The Great Gatsby,” is lovely.
  •  

    1 COMMENT

    Aesthetically Speaking

    June 12, 2013 | by

    I learned not only how to read from comic books, but also how to see. I learned about line, shape, color, value, space, texture, color, balance, harmony, unity, contrast, variety, rhythm, repetition, emphasis, continuity, spatial systems, structures and grids, proportion and scale, and composition by studying and copying the drawings from the comic books of my Italian childhood. The word disegno literally meant drawing, but also design. Thus, the two were forever fused in my mind, each inseparable from the other: drawing is design, and design is, essentially, drawing.

    Il Gatto con gli Stivali (i.e., Puss ’n Boots).

    Il Gatto con gli Stivali (Puss ’n’ Boots).

    This drawing is but one example of childhood drawings (many, alas, have been lost or destroyed). They were done between the ages of four and six, circa 1971–73. I consider this by far my best period as an artist. The drawings are careful, sincere, and free of pretension. If my house were to catch fire, the small box of my remaining childhood drawings is the only artwork of mine I would try to save. Read More »

    5 COMMENTS

    Did The Moviegoer Fix the NBAs? And Other News

    November 5, 2012 | by

  • It was considered a huge upset when The Moviegoer beat out Catch-22, Revolutionary Road, and Franny and Zooey for the 1962 National Book Award. Slate asks: Was the fix in? And why?
  • Speaking of snubbing Richard Yates: “Each time Yates shuffled into Roads that summer, I avoided making eye contact. Why didn’t he get help, join AA?” Leslie Absher recounts her interactions with the author.
  • Books written from beyond the grave. Dead Mark Twain was especially prolific.
  • You may be dead before you finish these: a slideshow of those books most difficult to finish.
  • He apparently hated beards, and other trivia about Roald Dahl.
  • [tweetbutton]

    [facebook_ilike]

    2 COMMENTS

    Trashing Tolkien, Finding Tom Sawyer

    September 25, 2012 | by

    The real Tom Sawyer. Courtesy Guardians of the City, San Francisco Fire Museum.

  • The people have spoken, and the Best Word Ever is … diphthong.
  • A map of Zadie Smith’s NW.
  • And speaking of interactive tours: explore the Roald Dahl Museum from the comfort of home!
  • Tom Sawyer was apparently based on a real person. His name was Tom Sawyer. He was a volunteer fireman from Brooklyn, and he and Mark Twain used to go out drinking.
  • Billy Connolly: “I could never read Tolkien. I always found him unreadable … I didn’t read [the books], and I normally don’t like people who have! The people who love it, they’re kind of scary. They talk all this gobbledygook and they think of it as the Holy Grail.” Dáin Ironfoot clearly doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.
  • [tweetbutton]

    [facebook_ilike]

    11 COMMENTS