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When you wish upon a translation

The family that brought about Pincocchio Park has given the world a refreshing new translation of Collodi's classic cautionary tale for children. Gloria Italiano, widow of Rolando Anzilotti, the mayor of Pescia responsible for creating the park, worked from the 1883 first edition, which is included in this dual-

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Thu 29 Jan 2009 1:00 AM

The family that brought about Pincocchio Park has given the world a
refreshing new translation of Collodi’s classic cautionary tale for children.
Gloria Italiano, widow of Rolando Anzilotti, the mayor of Pescia responsible
for creating the park, worked from the 1883 first edition, which is included in
this dual-language edition from Spring Edizioni. Her careful use of language
captures both the magic and meaning of the original tale.

 

Words sparkle
and trip off each page, just as Pinocchio trips giddily from one misjudged
adventure to another. Italiano follows the original faithfully, but breaks away
from other translations by eliminating all Italian words, using instead English
equivalents that capture their meaning. For example, at the start of the book,
Master Cherry-O insults Geppetto by calling him ‘Corntop’, for his yellow-gold
wig, instead of ‘Polendino’ as in the original and other English translations.

 

She also employs richly idiomatic and conversational English. ‘Il paese
dei Barbagianni’ is ‘Dupeville’, and when the Fox and the Cat ask Pinocchio if
he’s really going to buy a school book with his five gold coins he replies
‘Yesirree.’ The effect is that this translation is immediate and accessible,
and thus more interesting to young readers. The Talking Cricket, becomes the
Preacher Cricket in Italiano’s hands, explicitly establishing the character’s
purpose in the narrative, setting the tone for the rest of the story, and
reminding the reader of the moral that Collodi wanted to convey.

 

In addition,
the book is full of charming illustrations done by Italiano’s grandchildren,
who range from elementary-school age to their mid-thirties, a personal touch
that makes this lovely, fresh translation seem a real family enterprise. And
not a Jiminy Cricket in sight.

 

 

PINOCCHIO

C.
Collodi, translated by Gloria Italiano

Spring Edizioni, 2007

15 euro, available in
bookstores

 

 

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