De-constructing Dahl / by Laura Viñas Valle
De-constructing Dahl / by Laura Viñas Valle. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016

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This is the first single-authored monograph on Roald Dahl since 1994. Remarkably, in spite of Dahl’s commercial success, and the divided opinions he generates, very little scholarly work on the author has been produced.

In the light of sociocultural constructivist theory, De-constructing Dahl focuses on the critical context, texts and paratexts that make up the packaging of “Dahl.” It offers the first thorough overview of the criticism and the language employed to discuss Dahl since the 1970s, the difficulties that using such language entails, and how it still permeates current criticism. It delves into the relationship between Dahl’s children’s and adult fiction by drawing comparisons and contrasts and exploring the common traits and patterns that bring his whole work together. It also examines how Dahl constructed himself as a children’s writer; how his publishing house and allies contribute to mediating and sustaining the Dahl public persona; the ways that marketing strategies are responsible for the identity of his books; and how editorial decisions about the age range, and, therefore, how the classification of a manuscript as a book for children or for adults constructs particular ideas of what “children’s literature” is, and what is considered “appropriate” or “unsuitable” for children to read.

Laura Viñas Valle received her MA and European Doctorate in children’s literature from the University of Reading and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She has taught English and Spanish in Higher Education in the UK and Spain. Her publications include translations and adaptations of Latin American picture-books, and articles on Roald Dahl and Spanish children’s literature.

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