Children, Classics, Fantasy
May 30, 2023 May 30, 2023
Reading by the Numbers, The Backlist Reader
A timeless classic to be read over and over.
This is the story of Pinocchio, filled with harrowing yet inspiring adventures. Carved by a poor man named Geppetto, Pinocchio is a wooden puppet that comes to life. He soon leaves his maker and commences a journey of misadventures.
Pinocchio has a good heart, but he is disobedient and lazy and often has poor judgment. And when he lies, Pinocchio's nose grows longer! Follow this mischievous puppet as he goes to the "Field of Miracles", where he plants gold coins to try to make his wealth grow. Thrill as he is pursued by assassins. And marvel as he becomes the unwitting star of a circus show and lives a life of ease in the "Land of Boobies," where boys can play all day and never have to go to school. Of course, Pinocchio gets into trouble along the way.
From the villainous Cat and Fox, who try to steal his gold coins, to the gigantic Dogfish, a terrifying sea monster that swallows him, Pinocchio encounters menacing characters who often lead him to trouble. But Pinocchio also befriends a good Fairy who loves him and wants to help him escape his misfortunes. She even promises the puppet that if he learns to be good, to study, and to work hard, he will become a real boy. Can Pinocchio turn his life around? And will he ever see his "papa," Geppetto again?
About the book
The actual book name should be: The adventures of Pinocchio. A Puppet’s story.
Everyone has seen the movie right? (well I hadn’t seen it until this year) so everyone knows what it’s about. The adventures of a puppet who wants to become a child.
What I think
I’ve always known about the story of Pinocchio and no, not thanks to Disney, but because like all Italians, broadly speaking, I heard the story from someone. And no, I’ve never read it, not even when I had the complete illustrated story in volumes as a child because you don’t read when you’re a child, right? (and no, I’ve never seen the Disney cartoon, I’ll watch it when I’m done writing here to see how far it deviates from reality). So I didn’t know how beautiful this story was, how much it can teach children and how many questions you can ask as an adult, to see the empty spots left by Collodi that you don’t see as a child, but as adults you do. Do I want the answers to these questions? Certainly not. The story is beautiful as it is and I think it’s my favorite now that I’ve read it and it wasn’t only handed down to me orally (and the whale is actually a “pescecane” which is another name for “squalo” in Italian which is a shark, as Collodi says).
The style, however simple, is a bit dated, in the sense that somewhat antiquated forms are used which I think a child considers errors, but which as an adult are understood and known to be due to the year in which this fairy tale was written . Be that as it may, the Italian is very understandable and surely the tradition in other languages will be too since they are usually more “modern” than the original. And yes I read the original version, as written from the initial note with the change only of the “j” to “i” since we had so many words with the letter j, but which are now written with an i (don’t ask me what they are though, I don’t know them, I know they just existed).
However I believe that everyone should read this story and especially many teenagers since they believe that everything is due to them. Read it to your children, don’t put them in front of the Disney movie and that’s it, read the original. The original teaches many things, things that we take for granted as children but that need to be taught. And, for example, the fact of becoming a “donkey” (poor donkeys, though) if you don’t study is well represented by the author’s metaphor. Honestly, this part is almost scary in the book, in the sense that if I had read it as a child I would have run to study.
I really like the fact that Pinocchio represents the “not giving up” when he is in the belly of the shark together with the father who would like to give up, but thanks to him and his friendships made during his “prank-time” he manages to save his father even when his father is now resigned.
Okay now it’s time to look at the Disney transposition and see the havoc they made of it… kidding of course. (actually no… what a mess, my God!!! Clearly the book is better!)