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detail of Pinocchio book cover
Cinema, History & Politics, Literature

Pinocchio’s Truth

The Real Messages of the World's Best-loved and Most Misinterpreted Tale

March 11, 2024
6:30 pm

The event will also be broadcast live on our
YouTube, Facebook, and website

Pinocchio’s Truth
The Real Messages of the World’s Best-Loved
and Most Misinterpreted Tale

A lecture by
Anna Kraczyna
Co-translator of the Penguin Classics edition of
The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Followed by a conversation between Kraczyna and:
Larry Wolff, NYU
Perri Klass, NYU
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, NYU


Follow the event live here:

The talk explores the different levels of meaning of one of the greatest works in the Italian literary canon, The Adventures of Pinocchio. Mendacity is in no way central to the book, which instead carries other more important messages that are universal and of the essence in every time and place. This may explain why after 140 years the story of Pinocchio is still an inspiration to artists of all kinds. The core theme of the book is the importance of education and learning from one’s own experience in order to be a true human being. But The Adventures is also a satire on many defining characteristics of the Italians—that are as true today as they were at the time in which Carlo Collodi wrote the story. The talk also illustrates how The Adventures of Pinocchio can be seen from our 21st century perspective and why the 140-year-old Italian puppet has become an icon of our times.

Anna Kraczyna was born and raised in Florence, Italy by American artist parents. She has dual American and Italian nationality, is bilingual and bicultural, and is also fluent in French. She owes her surname to her Russian émigré grandparents. Following a long and successful career as an international fashion model, which took her to live in Milan, Paris and New York, Kraczyna returned to her native city where she graduated with honors in Italian Literature from the University of Florence. Kraczyna has been a translator and a simultaneous interpreter for thirty years, and she lectures on Italian language, literature, and culture at American universities and colleges in Florence. She has taught at the Florentine campuses of Stanford University and Sarah Lawrence College. Kraczyna’s extensive research on the linguistic and cultural aspects of The Adventures of Pinocchio led to an article for The New York Times on Collodi’s masterpiece in 2019 and, in 2021, to her annotated translation of The Adventures of Pinocchio for Penguin Classics which has won praise from a wide range of leading publications including the Times Literary Supplement, Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, the London Sunday Times, The New Yorker, and The Economist.

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