"How it happened that Mastro Cherry, carpenter, found a piece of wood that wept and laughed like a child." -- Carlo Collodi
Carlo Lorenzini (November 24, 1826 – October 26, 1890), better known by the pen name Carlo Collodi, was an Italian children's writer known for the world-renowned fairy tale novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio.
"A boy's appetite grows very fast, and in a few moments the queer, empty feeling had become hunger, and the hunger grew bigger and bigger, until soon he was as ravenous as a bear.""A thousand woodpeckers flew in through the window and settled themselves on Pinocchio's nose.""At such a loving invitation, Pinocchio, with one leap from the back of the orchestra, found himself in the front rows. With another leap, he was on the orchestra leader's head. With a third, he landed on the stage.""Fancy the happiness of Pinocchio on finding himself free! Without saying yes or no, he fled from the city and set out on the road that was to take him back to the house of the lovely Fairy.""How ridiculous I was as a Marionette! And how happy I am, now that I have become a real boy!""Once upon a time there was a piece of wood. It was not an expensive piece of wood. Far from it. Just a common block of firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter to make cold rooms cozy and warm.""Pinocchio, spurred on by the hope of finding his father and of being in time to save him, swam all night long.""When poverty shows itself, even mischievous boys understand what it means."
During the Wars of Independence in 1848 and 1860 Collodi served as a volunteer with the Tuscan army. His active interest in political matters may be seen in his earliest literary works as well as in the founding of the satirical newspaper Il Lampione. This newspaper was censored by order of the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1849 but re-emerged in May 1860.
Lorenzini had won fame as early as 1856 with his novel In vapore and had also begun intense activity on other political newspapers such as Il Fanfulla; at the same time he was employed by the Censorship Commission for the Theatre. During this period he composed various satirical sketches and stories (sometimes simply by collating earlier articles), including Macchiette (1880), Occhi e nasi (1881), Storie allegre (1887).
In 1875, he entered the domain of children's literature with Racconti delle fate, a translation of French fairy tales by Perrault. In 1876 Lorenzini wrote Giannettino (inspired by Alessandro Luigi Parravicini's Giannetto), the Minuzzolo, and Il viaggio per l'Italia di Giannettino, a series which explored the re-unification of Italy through the ironic thoughts and actions of the character Giannettino.
Lorenzini became fascinated by the idea of using an amiable, rascally character as a means of expressing his own convictions through allegory. In 1880 he began writing Storia di un burattino ("The story of a marionette"), also called Le avventure di Pinocchio, which was published weekly in Il Giornale dei Bambini (the first Italian newspaper for children).
Lorenzini died in Florence in 1890, unaware of the fame and popularity that awaited his work: as in the allegory of the story, Pinocchio eventually went on to lead his own independent life, distinct from that of the author.
Lorenzini is interred at San Miniato al Monte Basilica.