ITALY: Nose Out of Joint

Italian intellectuals were up in arms. Distinguished essayists wrote diatribes against "inflexible technocracy." Some even suggested banning Honda motorcycles from the Apennine peninsula as a way of exacting revenge for sullied national honor. The cause of all the indignation was what Italians saw as an outrageous cultural slight. It came from Japan, of all places, and was aimed at one of the most beloved of 19th century Italians: the impish little wooden marionette Pinocchio.

Heavens to Geppetto! Carlo Collodi's 1883 children's classic, The...

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