November 24 – Happy Birthday, Carlo Lorenzini!

Posted on November 24, 2013

Do you know Carlo Lorenzini? He was born on this date in 1826; he was poor, and he was considered a bit wild—even a “terror”—as a child in school. During the Italian wars of independence, Lorenzini served in the Tuscan army. But he is famous for being an author under the pen name Carlo Collodi.

He wrote novels and short stories for adults. He wrote satirical sketches. You probably don't know them.

But perhaps you have heard of one of his children's fairy tales? A little story called The Adventures of Pinocchio?

Lorenzini liked the idea of using a character to act out his ideas in a form that is known as “allegory.” In an allegory, various characters, places, and events are symbolic of something else. Lorenzini wrote Pinocchio as a series of tales printed each week in the first Italian newspaper for children, Il Giomale per I Bambini.

Fortunately, the tales were immediately popular, and they were published in book form. The book was a great success. Unfortunately, Lorenzini (or Collodi) died just seven years after its publication, and the author had no idea that his marionette would go on to become one of the most iconic and beloved characters in the world. A huge part of the spread of Pinocchio was surely the Disney movie of that name. However, there have been many other adaptations, including feature films and TV musicals and stop-motion animations and even an opera!

Pinocchio's story has been translated into many different languages and has inspired other books and movies such as Pinocchio in Venice and Pinocchio's Revenge. The character sometimes makes appearances in other works such as the Shrek movies.

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