Pinocchio: A Rude and Violent Piece of Living Wood?

The New York Review of Books has a surprisingly fascinating piece on the truth about Pinocchio. I can’t say I’ve ever given the story much thought, but, as it turns out, there is much thought to be given. For starters, I need to confess that I didn’t know—it never really occurred to me to wonder, in fact—that the story first surfaced, not in that classic Disney movie, but in the novel by Carlo Collodi1. In the NYRoB piece, entitled “The Good Bad Boy,” Alison Lurie sheds light on many things, from the life of author Carlo Collodi (born Carlo Lorenzini) to the many ways Pinocchio is changed for the big screen to the origins of the story itself. It’s a great article, easily worth your time to discover the truth behind the glossy sheen of cinema.

Also, Lurie gets bonus points from me for mentioning Dino Buzzati’s The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily, which is a brilliant and excellent story for young and old.

(New York Review of Books: “The Good Bad Boy” by Alison Lurie [June 24, 2004])

1 As Alison Lurie notes, some parts of the original story are left out of English editions; I have no idea of the quality of the edition I’ve linked to above.