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Carlo Collodi

Carlo Collodi Carlo Collodi[1†]

Carlo Collodi, whose real name was Carlo Lorenzini, was an Italian author, humorist, and journalist, best known for his fairy tale novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio"[1†]. He was born on November 24, 1826, in Florence, in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany[1†]. Collodi spent much of his childhood in the town of Collodi, from which he later took his pen name[1†][2†]. His parents were Domenico Lorenzini, a cook, and Angiolina Orzali Lorenzini, a seamstress[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Carlo Collodi, born as Carlo Lorenzini, spent much of his childhood in the town of Collodi, where his mother was born[1†][2†]. He was the eldest child in the family, and he had ten siblings, seven of whom died at a young age[1†][3†]. His parents were Domenico Lorenzini, a cook, and Angiolina Orzali Lorenzini, a seamstress[1†]. Both parents worked for the marchese Ginori Lisci[1†].

After attending primary school, Collodi was sent to study at a theological seminary in Colle Val d’Elsa[1†][3†]. However, he decided against an ecclesiastical career at the age of sixteen and abandoned his studies[1†][4†]. He then continued his education at the College of the Scolopi Fathers in Florence[1†].

In 1844, he started working at the Florentine bookstore Libreria Piatti, where he assisted Giuseppe Aiazzi, a prominent Italian manuscript specialist[1†]. This early exposure to literature and intellectual discourse likely influenced his later career as a writer and journalist[1†].

Career Development and Achievements

Carlo Collodi’s career began in earnest when he started working at the Florentine bookstore Libreria Piatti, where he assisted Giuseppe Aiazzi, a prominent Italian manuscript specialist[1†][2†]. This early exposure to literature and intellectual discourse likely influenced his later career as a writer and journalist[1†].

During the Italian Wars of Independence in 1848 and 1860, Collodi served as a volunteer with the Tuscan army[1†][2†]. His active interest in political matters can be seen in his earliest literary works, as well as in the founding of the satirical newspaper “Il Lampione” in 1853[1†]. This newspaper was censored by order of the Grand Duke of Tuscany[1†]. In 1854, he published his second newspaper, “Lo scaramuccia” (“The Controversy”)[1†].

Collodi’s first notable work, “Il signor Alberi ha ragione!” (“Mr. Alberi Is Right!”), was published in 1860[1†]. This text outlined his political and cultural vision of Italy and marked the first time he used the Collodi pseudonym, which was taken from his mother’s hometown[1†].

In the following years, Collodi composed various satirical sketches and stories, including “Macchiette” (1880), “Occhi e nasi” (1881), and “Storie allegre” (1887)[1†]. However, his most famous work, “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” was written during his prime years as a renowned journalist and writer[1†][2†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Carlo Collodi’s literary career began with his contributions to periodicals[1†]. His debut came in 1856 with the play “Gli amici di casa” and a parodic guidebook "Un romanzo in vapore"[1†]. By 1860, he published his first notable work called “Il signor Alberi ha ragione!” (Mr. Alberi Is Right!), which outlined his political and cultural vision of Italy[1†].

Collodi’s first children’s book, “I Racconti delle fate”, was published in 1876[1†][2†]. This book was a translation of some French literary fairy tales from authors like Perrault, Madame Leprince de Beaumont, and Madame D’Aulnoy[1†][2†]. Following this, he published a schoolbook series from 1877 to 1890, where the character’s adventures served to introduce the concepts and notions to be learned[1†][2†].

In 1881, he published the first installment of the story of a puppet in “Giornale per i bambini”, one of the first periodicals for children in Italy[1†][2†]. This marked the beginning of his world-famous masterpiece, "The Adventures of Pinocchio"[1†][5†]. He continued to publish other short stories in the same magazine, including one about Pipì, the pink monkey, a self-deprecating continuation of Pinocchio[1†][2†].

Here are some of his main works:

Analysis and Evaluation

Carlo Collodi’s most famous work, “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, is a children’s fantasy novel about a marionette puppet named Pinocchio and his journey to becoming a real boy[6†]. The story first appeared in serial form in 1881 in the “Giornale dei bambini” (Children’s Magazine) and was published as a book in February 1883[6†]. The name Pinocchio derives from the Italian word “pino” (pine) and “occhio” (eye). In English, the word has come to be defined as one who lies often[6†].

The story of Pinocchio is essentially a cautionary tale to children about the dangers of not listening to their parents. It conveys that disobedience is bad, lying can be dangerous, and the importance of being good, listening, and studying[6†]. Pinocchio makes a promise with the Blue Fairy that if he can be a good student and act as a good son for a whole year, she will turn him into a real boy. However, he is constantly tempted into misbehaving by an array of characters who steal from him and lie[6†].

Collodi’s original serial was meant to serve as a warning against bad behavior, and it ended with Pinocchio’s fatal hanging[6†][7†]. However, the Fairy with Azure Hair saves Pinocchio at the last moment[6†]. When Pinocchio lies to the Fairy about the gold pieces, his nose grows comically long[6†].

The Adventures of Pinocchio has been translated into many languages, adapted into films and other media, and remains a beloved classic of children’s literature[6†][8†]. It continues to fascinate children and adults with its amusing portrayal of childhood[6†][4†].

Personal Life

Carlo Collodi, born as Carlo Lorenzini, was the eldest child in his family and had ten siblings, seven of whom died at a young age[1†]. He spent most of his childhood in the town of Collodi, where his mother was born[1†]. He lived there with his maternal grandmother[1†].

Despite his fame and the enduring popularity of his creation, Pinocchio, Collodi’s personal life was relatively ordinary[1†][9†]. His wide-ranging knowledge was gained through self-education[1†][9†]. There is no public record of him being married or having children[1†][10†].

Collodi passed away on October 26, 1890, in Florence, Italy[1†][5†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Carlo Collodi’s life was packed with human and literary experiences[2†]. His world-famous masterpiece, “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, was written during his prime years (1881-1883) when he was a famous journalist and writer[2†]. This work has had a profound impact, delighting children around the world and cementing Collodi’s place in literary history[2†][1†][5†].

The legacy of Pinocchio’s teachings is kept alive by the Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi, which has been promoting culture for children since 1962, starting from the world-famous literary masterpiece for children, "The Adventures of Pinocchio"[2†][11†]. Collodi’s influence extends beyond literature, as seen in the film adaptations of Pinocchio, where his legacy shadows many of the movie’s key emotional moments[2†][12†].

Collodi, a true intellectual of the Risorgimento, also served as a volunteer soldier in 1848 and 1860, demonstrating his commitment to Italy’s unification[2†]. His dedication to writing plays, short stories, and children’s books, as well as his work in journalism, showcases the breadth of his contributions to Italian culture[2†].

Carlo Collodi died suddenly in 1890 in Florence, where he lived with his brother Paolo[2†]. His enduring legacy continues to inspire and entertain generations of readers worldwide[2†][1†][5†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Carlo Collodi [website] - link
  2. Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi - Biography of Carlo Collodi [website] - link
  3. Kiddle Encyclopedia - Carlo Collodi Facts for Kids [website] - link
  4. eNotes - Carlo Collodi Critical Essays [website] - link
  5. Britannica - C. Collodi: Italian author [website] - link
  6. Study.com - Carlo Collodi?s Pinocchio | Summary & Book Analysis [website] - link
  7. Britannica - The Adventures of Pinocchio: novel by Collodi [website] - link
  8. GradeSaver - Carlo Collodi Biography [website] - link
  9. nocloo.com - Golden Age Illustrations Gallery - Carlo Collodi Biography [website] - link
  10. CelebsAgeWiki - Carlo Collodi Biography, Age, Height, Wife, Net Worth, Family [website] - link
  11. Tuscany Now & More - Pinocchio Legacy; Tuscany's Wooden Son [website] - link
  12. Audible Blog - How Guillermo del Toro Adapts Pinocchio’s Origin Story [website] - link
  13. Infoplease - Collodi, Carlo [website] - link
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