7 July 1881: First release of the final version of the children’s story “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Italian author Carlo Collodi , published in serial form in the “Giornale dei bambini “(one of the earliest Italian weekly magazines for children), as “ La storia di un burattino” (The tale of a puppet)
It then appeared in book form in 1883 and , since then, it has been translated into over 260 languages, although it is probably most famous from the 1940 Disney film.
It is the story of a little naughty, pine-wood marionette who gains wisdom through a series of misadventures which help him become human.
His father, Geppetto, an elderly poor woodcarver is so lonely that he carves himself a puppet out of a block of wood. Almost at once Pinocchio is mischievous and disobedient, and tells a lot of lies. He desperately wants to be a real boy, but he is too naughty, as the Fairy with Turquoise Hair tells him.
He keeps on doing what he pleases, ignoring the advice of his father, of the fairy, and of his conscience (the talking cricket, whom he smashes with a hammer after he tries to give him some advice, but who comes back as a ghost to continue advising the puppet.). As a consequence, Pinocchio meets a variety of bad company, including a fox, a cat, and assassins. But finally he learns to be unselfish and to care for his father: therefore he is able to get his wish and be transformed into a real boy.
Like many Tuscan folk tales, this story teaches a moral lesson to children: disobedience does not pay, telling lies is never wise and kids who love and take care of their parents will get the reward they deserve.
Its central theme is personality development, the difficulties of growing up and accepting responsibilities, the problem of manipulation and the quality of understanding the difference between right and wrong.
This story is a mixture of novel, fable, fairy-tale: some of its parts seem completely unrealistic, while others are exceptionally real.
Many concepts and situations expressed in the book have become proverbial, such as the long nose, commonly attributed to those who tell lies. (Pinocchio’s nose grows after each mistruth)
Similarly, many of the characters have become human models, still cited in everyday language, such as the Fox and the Cat to indicate a pair of unreliable elements , or the same Pinocchio, synonymous for “liar”.
- CARLO COLLODI is the artistic name of author Carlo Lorenzini. (1826 – 1890)
He worked as a bookstore employee, French translator, comedy writer. He was a great patriot and worked as a journalist and politician.
When he was 49 he started writing for kids and then he dedicated himself to that.
Here are a few quotes from Pinocchio:
- “Never trust people who promise to make you rich in a day. Usually they are either mad or rogues!”
- “A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to.”
- “Hunger is the best cook.”
- “Lies, my dear boy, can easily be recognized, because they are of two sorts. There are lies that have short legs, and lies that have long noses. Your lie, as it happens, is one of those that have a long nose.”