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Title: From puppet to cyborg : posthuman and postmodern retellings of the Pinocchio myth
Author: Panteli, G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 1654
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The myth of Pinocchio is the story of a puppet that desires to become human and achieves it with the power of his will. Created by Carlo Collodi in The Adventures of Pinocchio, the myth of Pinocchio is linked to the fairy tale tradition and is the most recent manifestation of the animate/inanimate archetype. This thesis is the first systematic study of the Pinocchio myth and examines how it has been used and reinterpreted in different retellings across different media and disciplines. The first part of this study focuses on Pinocchio retellings in film and shows that the most contemporary example of the Pinocchio myth is in the story of the sentient cyborg/robot that desires humanity. Moving from the classic in the field of cyborg studies Blade Runner through Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which directly links the robot to Pinocchio, to the least technophobic and most transhumanist Battlestar Galactica, Chapter 1 demonstrates how all case studies are connected to Collodi's novel through the confrontation scene, a specific passage in the text which touches upon the core of the Pinocchio myth, as Pinocchio is confronted both by the Blue Fairy and his corporeality. Chapter 2 examines Robert Coover's Pinocchio in Venice and Jerome Charyn's Pinocchio's Nose, two metafictional novels that deconstruct the myth of Pinocchio by challenging each of its components. Pinocchio's posthumanity is a reversal of the original story, as both protagonists turn from flesh to wood. Moreover, this analysis focuses on the role of the Blue Fairy in instigating Pinocchio's desire for humanity and on the role of writing and authorship in both texts. Chapter 3 analyses Pinocchio retellings that combine posthumanism with postmodernism. Winshluss's Pinocchio and Ausonia's Pinocchio focus on the malfunctioning conscience of Pinocchio. Both graphic novels deconstruct the Pinocchio myth visually and conceptually. The desire for humanity, central to the myth of Pinocchio, is missing from both texts, suggesting an alternative reading of the original text and exposing the ways the myth has been used to perpetuate consumerist values.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available