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Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (1881)

 
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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3338


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:59 am    Post subject: Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (1881)  Reply with quote

Iím surprised that Iíve arrived at my advanced years without having read Carlo Collodiís PINOCCHIO (1881) I suppose because itís so familiar from Disneyís cartoon version I imagined that Iíd read it. The adventures of a wooden puppet who springs to life as soon as carved is a splendid basic idea, and the book certainly makes for lively and exuberant reading, incident following incident with hardly a pause for breath Ė and then and then and then - a †problem arises and is solved within a sentence or two. †Itís as though Collodi wrote down whatever next came into his head without bothering too much, and the book is full of narrative inconsistencies. For example, Pinocchio runs away from school, but later in the story is able to read. †The Disney film uses some of the basic ideas retaining the Blue Fairy (who constantly changes her shape), the swallowing by the whale and the discovery of Gepetto inside, and the idle boys being turned into donkeys, but jettisons much else. The talking cricket is killed shortly after its first appearance and re-appears later as a ghost. †The Disney film is sentimental, but the book isnít. †No ĎWhen You Wish Upon a Starí here! Thereís a terrible lot of death and dying. At one point Pinocchio is hanged and left for dead, heís also (when a donkey) bought for his skin and thrown into the sea to drown. The novel is full of moral warnings. †We can easily identify with Pinocchio who is a very naughty and wayward boy, easily duped and led astray, and all his adventures serve to teach him the proper virtues of obedience to parents, the value of thrift and becoming a good and faithful member of the community. †His ultimate reward at the book's end is to become a real flesh and blood boy. †I suppose the bookís moral tone arises in some part through being written in the late 19thC in a Catholic country. But the bookís message doesnít get in the way of the readerís enjoyment of a rollicking adventure story and one reads on eagerly. The translation I read was the first English version by Mary Alice Murray in 1892, in a lovely new edition from the Folio Society.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2104


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never read it, and haven't seen the Disney version either, but I do remember the BBC version from the early 80s (or possibly late 70s?) was not very Disneyish at all. I remember finding it quite scary at the time!




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