Carlo Collodi Criticism - Essay

The Bookman, London (review date 1892)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Story of a Puppet," in The Bookman, London, Vol. I, No. 1, January, 1892, p. 148.

[The following is a positive review of the first English translation of Pinocchio.]

Children are at once so independent and so conservative in their literary judgments, that we hesitate before recommending books to them that are not sanctified by custom and tradition. We think we might possibly be safe in this case, and if they would take our advice only for this once, they might spend even a merrier Christmas than otherwise, enlivened by the waggeries and the sprightly naughtiness of Pinocchio. But knowing the critical cast of their minds, we don't press the point. It is...

(The entire section is 450 words.)

The New York Times Book Review (review date 1909)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "A Juvenile Classic," in The New York Times Book Review, April 3, 1909, p. 192.

[In the following review, the critic examines the moral teachings of Pinocchio.]

Among the illustrious collection of illustrated books "every child should know," the Italian juvenile classic, The Marvellous Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Lorenzini, is entitled to a place; if not a first place, at least one very near the top. . . .

The story of Pinocchio is an allegory, a guide to self-control, self-government, and self-determination in children. Its concise style and picture words are well calculated to hold the attention of children. A few scenes in the book, however, might be considered too gruesome for the child mind—such as the description of the young girl who died and was waiting for the hearse to come and carry her away. But the moral of the puppet who, by overcoming his evil influences and following the advice of his good fairy, changes into a "real boy," is admirable. Love and consideration for animals are taught among many other things. . . .

Carl Van Doren (essay date 1937)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: An introduction to Pinocchio: The Adventures of a Marionette by C. Collodi, translated by Walter S. Cramp, The Heritage Press, 1937, pp. v-viii.

[Van Doren is considered one of the most perceptive critics of the first half of the twentieth century. A founder of the Literary Guild and author or editor of several American literary histories, Van Doren was also a critically acclaimed historian and biographer. In the following essay, he claims that Pinocchio is "a childish allegory of the moral life."]

In the heroic ages and in the nursery all stories are anonymous. Nobody knows the name of a single bard before Homer, and I never heard of a child that asked...

(The entire section is 1319 words.)

Giuseppe Prezzolini (essay date 1940)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Author of Pinocchio," in The Saturday Review of Literature, Vol. XXI, No. 17, February 17, 1940, pp. 14-15.

(The entire section is 2103 words.)

Martha Bacon (essay date 1970)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Puppet's Progress," in The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 225, No. 4, April, 1970, pp. 88-91.

[In the following essay, Bacon discusses the cultural and literary impact of Pinocchio.]

What manner of man—or woman—sits down and deliberately writes a book for children? One would suppose that he or she would have had some firsthand experience with youngsters, coupled with a keen sense of what is suitable, pleasant, and instructive. But three of the greatest writers for children, whose contribution stands unquestioned, were all eccentric bachelors.

If we study the lives of Hans Andersen, Lewis Carroll, and Carlo Collodi, we find it impossible to...

(The entire section is 3236 words.)

Ester Zago (essay date 1988)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Carlo Collodi as Translator: From Fairy Tale to Folk Tale," in The Lion and the Unicorn, Vol. 12, No. 2, December, 1988, pp. 61-73.

[In the following essay, Zago considers the techniques Collodi used when translating the tales of Charles Perrault, Mme. d'Aulnoy, and Mme. Leprince de Beaumont.]

There is a general consensus among critics of Collodi in acknowledging the indebtedness, on the part of the author of Pinocchio, toward the French fairy tales. Few have explored the topic much further, and yet it seems to me that this important influence on Collodi's work deserves closer scrutiny. Collodi's translation method appears to have been by his own...

(The entire section is 4668 words.)

M. L. Rosenthal (essay date 1989)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Hidden Pinocchio: Tale of a Subversive Puppet," in Literature and Revolution, edited by David Bevan, Rodopi, 1989, pp. 49-61.

[In the following essay, Rosenthal discusses the political views Collodi expressed in Pinocchio.]

The Adventures of Pinocchio: Tale of a Puppet, by Carlo Lorenzini (who used his mother's birthplace, Collodi, as his pen-name), is a glorious book. Its glories have been obscured for many by Disney's syrupy treatments: his charming animated film that is nevertheless untrue to the sardonic, sometimes anarchic side of the original story; and his "book" version, a tiny, shameless bit of baby-talk.


(The entire section is 5039 words.)

Richard Wunderlich (essay date 1992)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Tribulations of Pinocchio: How Social Change Can Wreck a Good Story," in Poetics Today, Vol. 13, No. 1, Spring, 1992, pp. 197-219.

[In the following excerpt, Wunderlich chronicles the publication history of Pinocchio, the many editorial changes it underwent, and its adaptations.]

Written serially for an Italian children's weekly from 1881 to 1882, Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio was assembled and first released as a full-length novel in 1883. Pinocchio's tribulations, alas, did not end with the story's final chapter; a long series of quite different mishaps awaited him in North America. The first of these entailed the actual process of...

(The entire section is 8577 words.)