Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
(New York Review Books)

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Synopsis

Though one of the best-known books in the world, Pinocchioat the same time remains unknown—linked in many minds to the Walt Disney movie that bears little relation to Carlo Collodi’s splendid original. That story is of course about a puppet who, after many trials, succeeds in becoming a “real boy.” Yet it is hardly a sentimental or morally improving tale. To the contrary, Pinocchio is one of the great subversives of the written page, a madcap genius hurtled along at the pleasure and mercy of his desires, a renegade who in many ways resembles his near contemporary Huck Finn.

Pinocchio the novel, no less than Pinocchio the character, is one of the great inventions of modern literature. A sublime anomaly, the book merges the traditions of the picaresque, of street theater, and of folk and fairy tales into a work that is at once adventure, satire, and a powerful enchantment that anticipates surrealism and magical realism. Thronged with memorable characters and composed with the fluid but inevitable logic of a dream, Pinocchio is an endlessly fascinating work that is essential equipment for life.
 

About Carlo Collodi

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Carlo Collodi (1826-1890) was the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini. A volunteer in the Tuscan army during the 1848 and 1860 Italian wars of independence, Collodi founded a satirical weekly, Il Lampione-which was suppressed for a time by the Grand Duke of Tuscany-and became known as the author of novels, plays, and political sketches. His translation from the French of Charles Perrault's fairy tales came out in 1876, and in 1881 his Storia di un burratino (Story of a Puppet) was published in installments in the Giornale per i bambini, appearing two years later in book form as The Adventures of Pinocchio. Collodi, whose writings include several readers for schoolchildren, died in 1890, unaware of the vast international success that his creation Pinocchio would eventually enjoy. Fulvio Testa is one of Italy's most distinguished artists and illustrators and has had many exhibitions in the United States and Europe. In addition to his own prizewinning titles, he has illustrated books by authors such as Anthony Burgess and Gianni Rodari. Umberto Eco is a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and the author of numerous works of fiction, literary criticism, and philosophy. His most recent books are On Ugliness and the novel The Prague Cemetery. Geoffrey Brock is the author of the award-wining poetry collection Weighing Light; the translator of books by Cesare Pavese, Roberto Calasso, and Umberto Eco; and the editor of The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry. He is currently on the faculty of the Programs in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Fulvio Testa is an internationally acclaimed painter as well as an author and illustrator of numerous children's books including The Endless Journey, Too Much Garbage, A Long Trip to Z, and The Visit. He lives and works in New York City and Verona, Italy.
 
Published December 7, 2011 by NYRB Classics. 210 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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