Fabiola Vergara, institutional head of the BNP, reflects on the censorship of Roald Dahl’s books.
Readers around the world are in the midst of a heated debate after Puffin Books announced the rewrite of the books by Roald Dahl, author of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda”, in order to eliminate the terms offensive words that appear in their stories. Regarding Book Day, the head of the National Library of Peru (BNP), Fabiola Vergara, spoke with Infobae about the scenario that book lovers face.
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Peru knows of publications marked by a macho and racist look, titles that for the institutional head of the BNP “are manifestations of the creativity of the person and that, in addition, respond to a specific time and context.” Many of these are even valid because they are based on problems that are not only a matter of discussion, but also claim the lives of citizens.
“What we have to do is train critical readers so that they can appreciate the work, but in no way can libraries discriminate, much less censor certain works,” he said, pointing out that the library does not fulfill the role of judge, but rather The main task is to facilitate access to the book in order to train readers who are characterized by the critical look with which they approach the works.
Fabiola Vergara, institutional head of the National Library of Peru, reflects on Book Day (Photo: Carlo Fernández/Infobae)
Vergara stressed the fact that authors have rights in life and after their death, even when their work becomes public domain 70 years after their death. “Since it is in the public domain, editions, adaptations, translations and interpretations can be made without having to pay royalties, but the moral rights remain with the author and these have to be indicated in the new editions”, he stated.
Book censorship continues to be news in the 21st century and the country where it has recently been attempted to keep readers away from certain titles is the United States. Initiatives by representatives of the Republican Party have caused the shelves of some libraries to no longer hold titles that were alarming for a sector of the population. Vergara was asked how the BNP would respond to a similar danger.
“Honestly, we do not have an action plan in these cases. As the governing body of the National Library System, we have ongoing training for librarians. Within these spaces there are conversations that address censorship issues to prevent it and that is in line with the professional exercise of library ”, he added.
On April 23, the day Book Day is celebrated, the institutional head of the National Library of Peru considered that “the best celebration is reflection, dialogue to put discussion about books on the public agenda, reading and the libraries. Regarding the latter, she pointed out them as “spaces for dialogue and where people can take refuge to find that peace that sometimes we do not find outside.”
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Libraries can also serve as protection in a world loaded with information and where it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between what is true and what is false. The environments, events and material available in libraries allow more and more readers to be more aware of the need to foster a critical look at a world that is burdened with more problems every day.