Here are 10 interesting things you didn’t know about Roald Dahl:
Originally published on November 5, 2015
1 ) Dahl’s last words were “Ow, fuck!”
2) His son Theo had his skull shattered as an infant in which, he developed hydrocephalus or “water on the brain”. Dahl was so determined to help his son that he helped create the Dahl-Wade-Till valve, which helped relieve the excess cerebrospinal fluid. He was able to help about 3,000 different children with this invention.
3) Dahl was known for being irritable, stubborn and quick to temper yet had a low-key gentleness to him. He had a unique sense of humour and loved to talk and push social boundaries. He was mesmerizing yet intimidating.
4) While serving with the Royal Air Force in WWII, he suffered a severe accident in which his nose was pushed back into his face and his skull fractured. He suffered from postconcussive syndrome, symptoms which include pain, fatigue and irritability which plagued him for the rest of his life. The condition is also known to change perceptions. Some of Dahl’s most imaginative pieces were written after his accident, such as James and the Giant Peach.
5) He had a hut out in his garden in which he did all of his writing in. Within it, he had a chair in which removed the back of to ease the discomfort in his back. He had a total of six surgeries on as a result of his injuries in the war. He also had a steel hip prosthesis decorating this room from a failed hip surgery.
6) He absolutely loved chocolate. He had ball of chocolate wrappers that he kept in his writing hut.
7) During the war, he provided information from Washington for MI6 and worked with Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond.
8) While his children’s work was imaginative, humorous and pleasant, his adult pieces showed a different side. He wrote many short stories for Playboy magazine that depicted just how awful adults are to each other. His stories, discussed sex, adultery and rape.
9) He wrote the screenplay for You Only Live Twice and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
10) He was a womanizer. Notoriously unfaithful, his adult stories were an attempt to depict women as “brutal lascivious creatures”.
Sturrock, Donald. Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl. Toronto, ON: Mcclelland & Stewart Ltd, 2010. Ebrary.
Web. 10 Jul. 2014