“In this House We Are All Dead”. What Pinocchio and Other Children’s Classics (in Italy and Elsewhere) Actually Talk About
In an attempt to find a possible criterion according to which to select the most representative titles and authors in the history of Italian children’s literature, one finds that a very peculiar theme characterises the books that can be considered most remarkable: death. Death, though, in Italian as well as in all the other children’s classics around the world, is not dealt with in a literal way, but in a metaphorical, symbolic, indirect one. Therefore, it is necessary to borrow interpretative approaches from other scientific fields (anthropology and philosophy, for example) in order to understand death’s deepest meaning and to discover that what it stands for, in Italian (and not only Italian) children’s literature, is an “otherness”, a “beyond”, an unknown and non-anthropocentric dimension that children must go through in order to grow up.