Carlo Maria Maggi

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Bust of Carlo Maria Maggi (1890), Piazza Mercanti, Milan

Carlo Maria Maggi (Milan, 1630 – Milan, 1699) was an Italian scholar, writer and poet. Despite being an Accademia della Crusca affiliate, he gained his fame as an author of "dialectal" works (poems and plays) in Milanese language, for which he is considered the father of Milanese literature. Maggi's work was a major inspiration source for later Milanese scholars such as Carlo Porta and Giuseppe Parini.[1]

His prominent works belong to the commedia dell'arte theatrical genre. Some of Maggi's most famous plays in Milanese are Il manco male (1695), Il Barone di Birbanza (1696), I consigli di Meneghino (1697), Il falso filosofo (1698), and Concorso de' Meneghini (1699). This last work may be considered as a sort of manifesto of dialectal poetry, as it explicitly celebrates the virtues of the Milanese language: che apposta la pär fä / par dì la veritä ("which seems as if it was specifically designed to tell the truth").[1] This equation between the Milanese language (and people) and sincerity is clearly embodied in the commedia character of Meneghino, which is supposedly Maggi's creation, and was later developed by other authors (most notably Carlo Porta) to eventually become a prominent symbol of Milan and the Milanese for antonomasia.[2] Another recurring theme of Milanese literature first established by Maggi's works is the celebration of the verzee (Milan's vegetable market) as the place where the spirit of the city was most genuinely expressed.[1]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Carlo Maria Maggi
  2. ^ Meneghino