Friday, April 02, 2010
Anderson wrote some of the most cherished stories of contemporary childhood, though you may not recognize some of the original endings. "The Little Mermaid," for instance, ends with heart break and tragedy, not Ariel and the Prince dancing off into happily ever after. Anderson also wrote classics like "The Ugly Duckling," "The Snow Queen," and "The Princess and The Pea." And there are lesser known gems, like "The Tinder Box," and "The Elder Tree Mother," both of which I loved as a child. Anderson told a world that was both beautiful and sad, and often rife with danger, where love and loss both triumphed. His characters are fragile and flawed, but find reserves of personal strength, courage, and faith.
In honor of his birthday, which was today, 205 years ago, please explore the work of this wonderful tale teller: http://hca.gilead.org.il/
And if you are already a fan, check out The Annotated Hans Christian Anderson edited and with notes by Maria Tatar, noted folklore scholar. It's loaded with intriguing and insightful commentary: