This year I’m blogging once a month here at Pornokitsch about trying to read everything Roald Dahl ever wrote.
I’m a little more than halfway done, and so far I’ve looked at one of Dahl’s more obscure titles, “The Sword” from an old issue of The Atlantic Monthly, and ones I’ve simply overlooked, like Rhyme Stew. By the end, I hope to be able to say “I’ve read everything written by Roald Dahl!” or at least “I’ve read everything Roald Dahl wrote, save for that one play I can’t seem to find a script for.” Something like that.
The Stories of Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying (1946)
All year I’ve been blogging my thoughts of finishing Roald Dahl’s works. I’ve read his poems for children, his first and unloved novel, his meditations on why you should vaccinate against measles. But save for “The Sword” and a few others that I blogged about back in January, I haven’t filled in the gaps in my knowledge of his fabulous short fiction.
I remember reading (or rather, being read) a few of Roald Dahl’s adult short stories as a kid. I recall it was in what my family always called “the house in the woods,” a big weird house in Georgia in which I spent some of my happiest years. It backed up to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which was just Georgia scrub pine forest, full of ticks and snakes and deer, and it was awesome. Anyways, I digress—I only lived in that house from 4th to 6th grade, so it must have been sometime during those years. My dad had bought me The Roald Dahl Omnibus and he read me “Taste” and “Lamb to the Slaughter” and “Man from the South” and then decided maybe I should read these on my own. I did—I read them all. I recall being particularly impressed by the lecherous menace of “Taste,” the sinister otherworldliness of “Royal Jelly,” the gruesome “Pig,” the misanthropic “The Last Act,” and, of course, “Bitch” which first began my lifelong love of Roald Dahl’s fictional Uncle Oswald. Which, come to think of it, would probably amuse Oswald, given his philosophies toward women.