The Adventures of Pinocchio is also known as The Adventures of Pinocchio: Story of a Puppet and Pinocchio.
Though one of the best-known books in the world, Pinocchio at the same time remains unknown – linked in many minds to the Walt Disney movie that bears little relation to Carlo Collodi's splendid original. 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. 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. 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.
Carlo Collodi (1826–1890) was the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini, an Italian journalist born in Florence. Collodi's life and writings were dedicated to the Italian liberation movement to free the country from Austrian domination and establish a national identity. In 1875, Collodi put aside his political struggles and turned to a new interest: writing for children.