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Biographie: Carlo Collodi

 Carlo Collodi

Carlo Collodi (born 1824 in Florence, died 1890 in Florence) is a pseudonym for the italian journalist and writer Carlo Lorenzini. The name Collodi derives from the little village Collodi (in the mountains in the Tuscane between Lucca and Pistoia) where he spent his childhood. His mother Angelina Orzali worked as a servant for the wealthy family Venturi, later for the family Ginori in Florence. His father worked for the Ginori as a cook. The family was poor and Carlo Lorenzini visited at the beginning only the primary school in Collodi, later an institution of the Scalopi brotherhood. The Scalopi offered a secondary education to children of poor families. The Scalopi send him to a seminary for priests in Val d' elsa but after having finished his studies he earned a living with the writing of critics for a big, florentine library. The Scalopi brotherhood was a catholic institution but nevertheless they were progressive and adherent of the italian independent mouvement. Carlo Collodi becames an adherent of the ideas of Mazzini, who fought for the unification of Italy and for the independence from Austria. (For more details about italian history and this periode see the annotations to Cronache a memoria by Giuseppe Abba). With 22 years he works for several italian newspapers and founded in 1848 a newspaper himself, Il Lampione which is however closed shortly after by the censorship and would be reopened only ten years later. In the mean time he founded a second newspaper, La Scaramuccia.

When Italy got rid of the austrian dominion in 1861 (see annotations to Cronache a memoria by Giuseppe Abba) he dedicates himself exclusively to his writing and became a censor for the theater. Bevor writing a childrens book himself, the Pinocchio, he translated several books from the french author Perrault. Il Pinocchio appears the first time in the Giornale dei Bambini in 1881.

The story is more complex than it may appear at first glance. Pinocchio doesn' t act really in a cancered way but as a child, that' s why he is always forgiven. That he becomes a donkey because he is unwilling to learn something can be taken as a hint. Those who have nothing in their heads will be exploited by others. The striking descriptions of all the misadventures of Pinocchio are attenuated by the fact that Pinocchio moves in a world where he can do nothing really harmfull because the blue fairy watches over him. He can' t kill the speaking cricket, he can' t be killed by the cat and the fox, he can' t be devored by the shark because the blue fairy takes care of him.