[Many people] know Pinocchio only from the sentimentalized and simplified Disney cartoon, or the condensed versions of his story that are thought more suitable for children. The original novel by Carlo Collodi, which today survives mainly in scholarly editions, is much longer, far more complex and interesting, and also much darker. The critic Glauco Cambon has called it one of the three most influential works in Italian literature (the others, he claims, are Dante’s Divine Comedy and Manzoni’s The Betrothed). For him, and those who know the real version, The Adventures of Pinocchio is not an amusing, light-hearted fantasy, but a serious fable about art and life. It is a story about growing upâ€”and it is also, in essential ways, a story about growing up poor and Italian.
Thanks to Sean Carman for the link.