Roald Dahl Day 2019: 10 quotes by Roald Dahl that’ll take you down memory lane; lesser-known facts about the author and more
Roald Dahl 103rd Birthday: One of the greatest storytellers of the 20th century, fighter pilot, intelligence officer, chocolate historian and inventor, it is the 103rd birth anniversary of Roald Dahl, who was born on this day in 1916. September 13 is also known as Roald Dahl Day by his large fandom that is not bound by age.Updated: Sep 14, 2019 12:38 IST
“If I were a headmaster I would get rid of the history teacher and get a chocolate teacher instead,” Roald Dahl wrote in his (infamous) essay titled History of Chocolate in the Roald Dahl Cookbook.
One of the greatest storytellers for children (and adults) of the 20th century, his short stories rank among the world’s best and have the capacity to warm a cold heart. His books namely Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG and several others have sold more than 250 million copies in over 50 languages. The author has also had stints as a fighter pilot, an intelligence officer, a chocolate historian and an inventor.
Roald Dahl is credited with inventing hundreds of words and terms, such as whizzpopping, Oompa-Loompas, gobblefunk, snozzcumbers, whoopsy whiffling and scrumdiddlyumptious.
- Born in Llandaff, Wales, Roald Dahl was named after Roald Amundsen, the adventurer from Norway, the first man to reach the South Pole.
- While studying at Repton Public School in Derbyshire, Dahl came across a custom where his schoolmates were invited to chocolate tasting sessions. This was a memory that stayed with him throughout his life, eventually inspiring the bestselling story and eventual film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Lesser-known facts about the author
- In 1960, Roald assisted engineers in the invention of the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, a cerebral stunt. This was prompted by the need to alleviate the head injuries endured by his son Theo who had met with a car accident in New York.
- The asteroid 6223 Dahl, was named in memory of the author in 1996, six years after the author’s death. The asteroid was formerly called 1980 RD1.
- The Oval Basin plaza, a modern landmark in Cardiff Bay, Wales was renamed Roald Dahl Plass in 2002. Plass is Norwegian for ‘place’ or ‘square’, alluding to the writer’s Norwegian roots.
- The Roald Dahl Museum and a Story Centre was inaugurated in the author’s hometown, Great Missenden in 2005. The author spent 36 years of his life in this village.
- Gibraltar Post from Gibraltor, a British overseas territory released a set of four stamps in 2010, featuring four of Dahl’s books. Two years later, a set of six stamps was issued by the British Royal Mail.
- His short stories namely Someone Like You (1954), The Landlady (1959) and Tales of the Unexpected (1980) won him Edgar Allan Poe Awards from the Mystery Writers of America.
- He received the Whitbread Children’s Book Award (1983) and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.
- In 1990, the British Book Awards honoured him as the Children’s Author of the Year.
- UK, Latin America and Africa celebrate September 13, his birth anniversary, as Roald Dahl Day.
- The novels written by Roald Dahl, who died in 1990 aged 74, have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide and have been turned into blockbuster films.
Here are some quotes by the beloved author that’ll warm your heart and take you down memory lane:
1.”A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”
2.”Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”
3.”It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself.”
4.”It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”
5.”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.”
6.”A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
7.”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.”
8. “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”
9. “Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.”
10. “Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.”
First Published: Sep 13, 2019 12:31 IST