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View Diary: Write On! A couple books about story structure. (105 comments)

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  •  The Save the Cat books suggests a world (11+ / 0-)

    in which intelligence would be a real disability. (Anytime someone says "Did I just blow your mind?" to you, you automatically lose IQ points.)

    But the other book, the author had actually read Collodi's Pinocchio. I didn't think anyone had read it except me, circa age 6, and I haven't recovered yet.

    -9.0, -8.3 "Remember, a writer writes. Always." --Throw Momma from the Train

    by SensibleShoes on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 05:28:57 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Collodi's 1903 illustrated Pinocchio (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TayTay, GussieFN, Youffraita, dandy lion, Emmet

      was the first book I read, the summer I was 5, after I taught myself to read using my grandpa's copy of a third-grade Dick & Jane tha the had used to teach himself English.  It was the only 'children's book' in the house -- it had been my Mom's.  Oddly enough, that book came into my mind this morning while I was waking up.

      I was familiar with the Disney Pinocchio/Jiminy Cricket from the Disney show on Sunday evenings, with chipper little Jiminy singing his chipper songs, drafted into non-Pinoccchio stories as a kid-friendly narrator.  I suppose I had even seen the Disney film on TV by then, although I don't have a clear memory of that.

      Thinking I was going to be reading the chipper, sunshine-y Disney version, I was dumbfounded when, only a few pages into the story, Pinocchio had burned his wooden feet of by sticking his feet into the brazier, and when the cricket showed up.  ('Okay, here's Jiminy', I thought' 'Now things will get better.'  Then Pinocchio threw the iron pan at the cricket and smashed him against the wall!  With a nice little pen-and-ink drawing to illustrate the scene, Pinocchio on the stool withe his burned-off stubs in the brazier, his arm having just finished a throw, the pan smashing the cricket against the wall.

      I sat stunned, staring at the page.  I didn't have swear words then, or I would have used them to preface the thought that was stuck in my head: 'This is not a book for children to read.  Grownups should not let children read this book.'

      But I forged ahead -- there was nothing else to read in the house -- following Pinocchio through the misadventures he brought upon himself through his self-centered dishonesty, even unto his own death and his meeting with the Blue Lady.  (This scene had its own full-color, full-page illustration, protected by a page of thins tissue; the six-foot-tall blue rabbits carrying Pinocchio's bier filled me with dread -- especially since his death (as the Blue Lady explained) was the just and necessary end that he had earned by failing to heed her warnings and change his behavior while there was still time.

      It wasn't until decades later, as an adult, that I saw the correlation between this story, Apuleius and his ass,  and the Consoloation of Philosophy.

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