Between an Androtext & a Gynotext: Rewriting Andersen for Valorisation

Aiping Wang, Fudan

To the Chinese college student community, Hans Christian Andersen is a canonical writer not only to be read, to be translated, to be criticized, to be performed and even to be rewritten. “My version of ‘The Little Mermaid’” is always in the syllabus of my writing course to sophomore students of the College of Foreign Languages & Literature of Fudan University, aiming at contextualizing Andersen in the modern Chinese milieu. Based on their textual analysis of “The Little Mermaid” as either an androtext or a gynotext, students provide outstanding imagination in re-characterizing the little mermaid, in re-designing the love discourse between the prince and the little mermaid, in rearranging a denouement for the little mermaid and in changing the moralistic coloration to a critical dystopian one. The significance of this sample class lies in the richness of Andersen’s legacy that is always ready to be liberated and proliferated in the Chinese college student community.


Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales in Narrative Medicine

Anne-Marie Mai and Anders Juhl Rasmussen

The aim of narrative medicine is to develop a narrative competence in listening to patients’ illness narratives through in-depth reading of literary texts. Literature is rich in stories about human suffering, and by becoming familiar with tested methods of reading slowly and with attention to detail, it is expected that medical students and health professionals will become better at understanding patients’ illnesses and life- situations.
We will argue that the fairy tales of Andersen capture and expand our understanding of the human condition, especially suffering, death, and mourning. The three short fairy tales “The Little Match Girl” (1845), “Heartache“ (1852) and ”The Teapot” (1863) can be read as allegories about the hidden community of the desolate, the lonely and the marginalized ill person. Virginia Woolf reminds us in her essay On Being Ill (1926) that loneliness and isolation from the shared community are essential conditions of being ill.


Selected Manuscripts – creating a digital documentation of Andersen’s creative processes

Ane Grum-Schwensen (Curator, The Hans Christian Andersen Centre & Odense City Museums) & Holger Berg (Edition philologist, The Grundtvig Study Centre & The Hans Christian Andersen Centre)

The Hans Christian Andersen Centre has launched a pilot study to investigate how to create a digital edition of Andersen’s fairytales and stories. In the study, the markup language of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is combined with a theoretical approach inspired by genetic criticism (critique génétique). This discipline explores writing processes based on archival sources ranging from writer’s notes to drafts and other types of manuscripts. Genetic research can reveal, for instance, how a writer has outlined, developed and revised a literary work regarding its structures, topics, themes, symbols and style – and thus enrich interpretations of literature.
The paper will present the aims, scope and challenges in the pilot study and discuss the digitals tools used by related digital manuscript projects to support the needs of the international research community (open annotation) as well as invite in amateur volunteers through crowdsourcing and citizen science.


Andersen’s Imaginary Horses in the Roman Campagna

Anna Maria Segala, Sapienza Università di Roma

In my paper I will try to explore the significance of one of Andersen’s travel experiences in Italy: the 1834 journey by carriage from Rome to Naples through the wild Roman Campagna and the arrival in Terracina, the medieval citadel of Teodorico surrounded by a ravishing nature. The narration of the perilous adventure through the very unhealthy Pontine Marshes followed by the sudden appearance of the bright colours of the vegetation and a different architectural environment – quite unusual in 19th century Italian travelogues - is totally coherent with Andersen’s method of describing by contrasts, a method that he first acquired after his first long stay in Italy 1833-1834. Usually overshadowed by the well-known Roman and Neapolitan repertoire from Improvisatoren, this “local” experience shows its fictional potential of human and artistic development in the imaginary dialogue “Pegasus og Veturinhestene” included in the Italian part of En Digter’s Bazar (1841).


Hans Christian Andersen in Fascist Italy

Anna Wegener

The 1920s and 1930s was an important period for foreign literature in Italy. The Italian book market was flooded with translations. Hans Christian Andersen’s works were also frequently translated. Particularly his fairytales became subject to translations, retranslations and adaptations, but the period also saw the  first Italian translation of Andersen’s novel The Improvisatore (published in Italian in 1931). From 1938, however, Italian cultural life became increasingly racist and xenophopic. Translations, especially of children’s literature, came to be seen as something potentially harmful to the nation’s health. In this paper I will first provide a short overview of translations of Andersen’s works in the Fascist epoch; subsequently I will identify interpretive communities in the scholarly criticism of Andersen in the period, showing how Andersen was seen alternatively as a representative of welcome world literature and unwelcome (foreign) national literature.

Re-imagining the values of communities through Hans Christian Andersen

Anne Klara Bom, associate professor, University of Southern Denmark

As a cultural icon, Hans Christian Andersen has a huge impact across borders, and his fairy tales in particular are considered as both useful and valuable in many different cultural contexts. Valuation processes are of interest today, because globalisation in general and neoliberalism in particular have affected an on-going transformation of people’s values (Held & Moore, 2008). Informed by recent scholarship within cultural studies, this paper examines how Hans Christian Andersen is used and appraised in Danish naturalisation tests and their supplemental material. This examination works as a point of departure for a discussion of how Andersen’s fairy tales could be of use in such processes by asking the questions: What images of community manifest themselves in Andersen’s fairy tales? And how can these images work in contemporary re-imaginations of community?


The ethical HC Andersen

Tony S. Andersen, Odense Katedralskole, Anne-Marie S. Christensen, IKV, University of Southern Denmark

The background for this presentation is our work on a text book on the ethical dimensions of HC Andersen’s stories to be used in upper secondary education in Denmark. In this context, our aim is to show how some universal ethical themes in Andersen’s work can be tied to the ethical challenges facing young people in contemporary life. We will do so by presenting readings of two of Andersen’s stories, “The Swine Herd” (Svinedrengen) and “The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep” (Hyrdinden og skorstensfejeren), which focus on a number of ethical themes present in these stories revolving around status, revenge, identity and life purpose. These themes will subsequently be tied to two contemporary issues, namely that of the illicit publication of pictures on the web for vengeful purposes and that of the conditions of life choices, especially the issues of how to find the right balance between freedom and community in life.


Science and Community in H.C.Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Bai Ling

Natural science and the concomitant scientific expeditions during the 18th and 19th century are often thought to facilitate the Eurocentererd consciousness. In postcolonial theories, Carl Linnaeu’s botany, for example, is considered to impose a scientific classification not only of the natural world, but also of human communities, with hierarchical structures and dichotomies between the west and the east, self and other. As an amateur natural scientist, Andersen depicts and classifies plants, insects and animals with exact scientific details and thus constructs communities of classes and hierarchy, the transgression of which will cause chaos, most often identity problem. But a closer scrutiny of his works will unfold, on the other hand, the power of science and technology facilitating cross-community mobility and thus challenge the well- established classification and hierarchy. This paper is to study the double function of science in Andersen’s fairy tales and how it problematizes the concept of community and eurocentred consciousness. Key words: science, community, eurocentrism, fairy tale

Hans Christian Andersen locked up in the Polish child’s room

Bogusława Sochańska

Andersen is a real cultural icon in Poland, but he is commonly perceived as an author of exclusively children’s literature, written in a more or less traditional literary style. The spirit of his prose was missing in far most editions due to the translator’s intended or unintended misinterpretations. The fairy tales and stories were over a hundred years translated from German, only in 2006 they were all for the first time translated from Danish. The translator, presents the results of her research in the history of Polish reception illustrating with many examples the process of “closing Andersen in children’s room”. The analysis shows how the original narration was changed to traditional literary style, how humour and irony were overlooked, misunderstood or judged improper for children, how Danish grammar and vocabulary were miscomprehended and how little attention was paid to the consistency of the text - all this in the same time illustrating typical difficulties that appear when translating Andersen’s prose.


Andersen’s Fairy Tales: A Community Incommunicado


The individualism of the protagonists of Andersen’s fairy tales often results in their isolation or alienation. It is noteworthy that the disintegration of community in Andersen’s fairy tales seems to be accompanied by the loss of confidence in the communicative power of language. The protagonists’ particular codes of communication are mutually incompatible; the communication is abortive or nonsensical: the porcelain ballerina does not comprehend the tin soldier, there is merely infinitesimal understanding between the shepherdess and the chimney sweep, and the world perceives the two maidens from the paving business as ‘stamps‘ in absolute breach of their own self-esteem. Participation in a community requires meaningful communication, but what actually happens to communication in Andersen’s fairy tales? My paper seeks, among other things, to answer that question.

H.C. Andersen, a modern writer

Dott. Bruno Berni

If we see him through modern eyes is Hans Christian Andersen a writer of European format, who in his time traveled (the nearest) world (and a little more than that), was in contact with most European intellectuals – and some of them were his community –, he exchanged letters with them and visited them during his travels, he learned to speak (badly) many languages, registered with drawings many destinations, used frequently modern transport and got photographed many times. But do we look at him with modern eyes? I’ll try to do it – perhaps in a little unorthodox way - and find similarities between his very modern and innovative way to move in the world and our technologically oriented.


Stripping the Classics. H.C. Andersen Within the Comic Art Community

Camilla Storskog

My paper addresses the transposition of H.C. Andersen’s literary production to comics and graphic novels; a vast, though little explored, field of research. It sets out to map a century of stripping a classic, from early 20th century lampoons (Klods-Hans 1905) to comic strips in newspapers to recent graphic novels – such as Varanda’s compelling Reflets d’écume (vol. I: Naïade, vol. 2: Noyade) published in the 1990s and Peter Madsen’s beautiful Historien om en mor (2004) – with the ultimate aim of describing how the media affordances of comics are employed to revisit and re-interpret the source texts.


Liminality and Transgression: on the Notion of Community in The Little Mermaid

Chen Liang, Fudan University, China

In Anderson’s fairy tales, identity is closely related to the notion of community, which does not play a traditional role in nurturing the consciousness of self-identification. Rather, it has assumed the position of Self and defines individual identity as an alienated Other. Anderson’s works are not limited within the binary mode, as he constructs fertile liminal space between them in which gender, power, death, ect., play important roles in shaping the liminal space between community and individuality. Anderson tries to crystalize the temporality and vagueness of the liminal space with transcending power of love in The Little Mermaid, which exhibits Anderson’s efforts in portraying spatial transgression across communities and the role of liminal space in constructing individual identity, which is set in a preconditioned power system.
Key words: community, liminality, The Little Mermaid, Sherwood Anderson.


Hans Christian Andersen in Trumpland

Clara Juncker

In the search for reasons behind the victory of the 45th American President, the name of Hans Christian Andersen began to appear in US news media, especially in connection with “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” As Andersen warned us, people and communities will bow to pressure and power rather than admitting what they see before them. Indeed, similarities exist between the tales of America’s Trump and Andersen’s Emperor, including narcissistic vanity and its accompanying illusion, the community schism between those in favor of arbitrary power and those against it, blame-shifting, suppression of dissent, and the heroic resistance still in search of a voice. Another Andersen fairy tale, “The Ugly Duckling,” similarly maps contemporary terrain with a focus on peer pressure, insiders versus outsiders, and the function of whiteness and biological family ties in the global communities we inhabit—at least if we trust our own eyes and ears.


Andersen and the community of tellers

Cyrille Francois

In his production of tales, Andersen engages in a genre which is both ancient and in the first years of a new trend. He refers – directly or indirectly – to different writers, from Musäus to the brothers Grimm, via Danish contemporaries like Adam Oehlenschläger, Mathias Winther, or Christian Molbech, positioning his texts between the folktale and the literary tale traditions.
The aim of this communication is to present the way in which Andersen takes his place in a community of tellers. Unlike Winther, who takes on the Grimms’ project in Danemark, Andersen does not fully adhere to this tale-tradition. Although his first published tale « Dødningen » (The Dead Man) is labelled as a folktale, Andersen refers to German writers like Musäus and Chamisso. Choosing to tell stories in his own voice rather that telling the people’s voice, Andersen’s real interest is to be part of a literary community.


The Little Mermaid, Ariel and Hans Christian Andersen’s Potential as a Queer Icon

Dag Heede

Although Danish Andersen Scholarship has to an almost absurd degree been biographically focused, Andersen’s romantic relationships with men have been a national taboo. The central theme of romantic friendship is underdeveloped in both Andersen’s work and biography. I will explore the biographical background of the famous tale of The Little Mermaid and demonstrate how the queer themes of Andersen’s text are transfigured in Disney’s adaption “Ariel”. Finally, I wil explore Andersen’s potential as a Danish queer icon.


Universalities and Community – from within “Little Ida’s Flowers”

Dan Ringgaard, Professor of Scandinavian Literature, Aarhus University

The first part of the paper will be a cross reading of “Little Ida’s Flowers” with Hélène Cixous’ writing manual Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing. Here Cixous points any writer in the direction of three schools: those of death, dreams and roots. In doing so she makes the claim that good writing goes deep, and, by way of the differential power of language, it goes to what we have in common. On the basis of this reading the second part of the paper will address the issue of universalities and community in Andersen, his much-acclaimed ability to speak to a global community of readers. The questions are: What is the relationship between community and universalities? and is it possible to imagine both as processes of differentiation rather than unification?


Word and Image in Hans Christian Andersen’s Art

Ejnar Askgård

Is it possible to compare Hans Christian Andersen’s literary works and his visual art in order to find similarities between the two art forms? Since Hans Christian Andersen became a subject for studies in humanities the main focus has been on his literary works – even though the author throughout his life and alongside with his writings created numerous works of visual art. The presentation will focus on Andersen’s papercuts and show how word and image are closely linked together and based on a tradition popular in the folk culture, which Andersen was very familiar to in his childhood.


The Reception Of H. C. Andersen In Russia

Elena Krasnova

Any translation is interpretation of a text and a form of cultural exchange. The history of H.C. Andersen’s translations in Russia extends back more than 150 years. Although still mainly published are Anna and Peter Hansen’ s translations made in the end of the 19th century, the reception of H. C. Andersen’s fairy tales changes depending on the epoch and its demands. The paper investigates specific features of translations, which are essential elements in a text reception, as well as peculiarities of Andersen’s texts reception in different periods and by different readership. Of special attention is modern interpretation of Andersen’s tales: further development of intertextual ties between contemporary literary, musical and cinematographic works and the tales; the involvement of a number of images from Andersen’s tales in modern Russian cultural discourse; and the activity of different Andersen-groups in the Internet.


Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde and the Genre Conventions of the Literary Fairy Tales

Feng DUAN, English Department, Fudan Unviersity

Literary fairy tales not only inherit common motifs and characters from folklores, but also develop a unique narrative formula with both elements of ancient myth, folklores, and richer literary implications. This paper, in conducting a comparative study on plot construction, characterization, and discursive strategies employed in selected fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Oscar Wilde, not only aims to demonstrate Wilde’s indebtedness to Andersen and the evolution of this literary tradition, but also to illustrate the implicit power of literary fairy tales to prepare children for the arduous journey of life apart from their explicit moralizing purpose.


Andersen: Cosmos & Comedy, Chaosmos & Community A few things about Stormen flytter Skilt, The Storm Shifts the Sideboards (1865)

Finn Barlby

The literary universe and the texts and tales of H.C. Andersen are rather complex – a rather complex compound.
The complexity is a constant, complex & monstrous composite or hybrid of lots of colours, ghosts & shadows, confusion & concern, compromises & completeness and incompleteness of the construction, sensus communis & deviations, crossings & communication ....
Stormy weather and iterations [or rather possible iterations] are at the center of The Storm Shifts the Sideboards .... and the play of this text can be described as: the combination of context-bound meaning and boundless context.
My question as regards this tale is double:
On the one hand:
“What’s in a Name?” (Mladen Dolar).
And on the other hand:
“Warum es die Welt nicht gibt” (Markus Gabriel).
Or so to speak:
Cosmos & Comedy, Chaosmos & Community.


Toy Stories

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Frederike Felcht, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany

All sorts of things play an outstanding role in H. C. Andersen’s Eventyr og Historier, that is his fairy tales.
In my talk, I will investigate a specific group of things: toys. During the nineteenth century, the production of toys expanded massively and toys shaped increasingly social interactions within families. We tend to associate toys with children, and nineteenth century literary critic Georg Brandes interpreted the representation of things, especially toys, in H. C. Andersen’s Eventyr og Historier as the literary expression of childlike imagination. However, as Walter Benjamin already noted: toys tell us more about the imagination of the adults who designed, produced, sold or bought them, than about the children who might play with them. My talk shows in an exemplary reading of Den standhaftige Tinsoldat (The Steadfast Tin Soldier) how Andersen’s texts reflect this projective character of toys and the complex structures of desire in modern societies and how they question some of the political aspects that are involved in playing with toys.


Andersen and the Israeli Avant-garde Theater: The King's Clothes by Nissim Aloni

Gabriel Zoran

Nissim Aloni's drama The King's Clothes (1961), one of the earliest examples of Israeli avant-garde theater, is deeply inspired by Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes" (1837). This does not mean a mere retelling of the tale, but rather suggesting a kind of alternative ending for it. The story takes place in an anarchic kingdom, with a week and capricious king, a corrupt government, two swindler tailors who actually dominate the country, and the boy from the fairy tale, who grew up in the meantime, and now hesitates between the various parties, finally choosing the wrong one. The presentation will follow the motifs of truth, fortune, and clothing in Andersen's tale and in the play.

Dreams And Stories In Andersen: Metanoia As Community Aceptance And Literary Resource

Garcia Manso

Andersen’s work provoked an enormous literary transformation in two levels: on the one hand, in moralizing, parabolic literature and, on the other hand, about pedagogical, children’s literature. Same as in the theater with the catharsis, the formal resource that allowed the writer to bring together parabolic and children’s literature is the metanoia. Although metanoia is originally conceived as a religious process, contemporary psychology and narratology have found in the process of “the dream into the dream” –also in the process of dreaming a story– the integrative argument of the writer’s works.

The Community of Listeners: H.C. Andersen and the Audience of His Lectures

Joachim Grage (Freiburg)

One of the most important communities for H.C. Andersen was his audience. This community presented itself in many different shapes: as an anonymous, uncountable group of readers, as spectators joining the performances of Andersen’s plays or as an audience of his lectures. The public or private lecture of his own texts was a performative act that Andersen practiced very often because it enabled a very close contact to the audience and gave him the opportunity to profile himself as a story teller. The paper gives an overview of Andersen’s lectures for private and public audiences and analyzes the relationship between author and listeners: how does he address them, how do they react, how does he notice them as a community, how does he attune to different groups of listeners, and how do the texts form an ideal community of listeners?


When a Rose Is More than a Rose: Self, Other, and Community in The Snow Queen

Helena Goscilo The Ohio State University

An allegory of good and evil cast in terms of space and thermodynamics, Andersen’s Snow Queen recalls Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1926), which insists on the primacy of the heart as a mediator and spatial middle point between the head (cold rationality) and the hands (work/deeds) in human interaction. Relying on the mirror as a trope for perspective, Andersen conceives of specular distortion as cold calculation that ineluctably negates and deforms the world when sundered from the compassion and empathy that the heart as the seat of emotions brings to all endeavors. Carceral preoccupation with self excludes any thoughts of community. Among the axiological questions addressed by Andersen’s narrative are the dangerous power of physical beauty when divorced from commensurate spiritual and emotional qualities, and the allure of preferential exclusivity—both issues profoundly relevant to today’s chaotic world.


On your feet! H.C. Andersen’s nocturnal test run in literary space

Henk A. van der Liet. University of Amsterdam

Already during his lifetime H.C. Andersen was an international literary celebrity and a well-known author through the vast proliferation of his work. An additional factor enhancing and securing his fame, may well have been his many and lengthy sojourns both at home and abroad. Through his travels, Andersen was able to experience the dynamics of space and time but, maybe more importantly, to cross and transgress spatial, temporal and social borders. Thus, Andersen merged two fundamentally different approaches to travel; while he on the one hand represents the quintessential early modern traveler, he at the same time connects with the image of the tramp.
In this presentation, I will take a closer look at Hans Christian Andersen’s Fodreise fra Holmens Canal til Østpynten af Amager i Aarene 1828-1829 (1829), offering special attention to the meaning of travel on foot, taking Fodreise as a liminal work in the evolution of Andersen’s oeuvre.


Hans Christian Andersen, ‘hygge,’ and the Victorian fireside.

Henrik R. Lassen

Hans Christian Andersen became a household name in the English-speaking world in the late 1840s when his stories found a ready market in the booming popular periodicals of the time. His tales in particular were enjoyed by the ‘Fire-Side’. To the Victorians this setting represented much more than simply a private, family-oriented context and a comparison with the culture complex that is Danish ‘hygge’ lies near. For Andersen too, fire and ‘the fireside’ held special meaning.


Performing Fairytales – Strategies of Representation and Agency in the New Hans Christian Andersen Museum

Henrik Lübker

Together with the exhibition design firm Event Communications Japanese starchitect Kengo Kuma has won the bid to rebuild the existing Hans Christian Andersen Museum from the ground up – in doing so transforming the biographical museum into a “house of fairytales” expected to open in 2020. However, in an Andersenian world where objects, plants, and stories show signs of agency and struggle for self- determination, they are not willingly reduced to traditional static museum objects – nor should they be. This paper suggests that by reapplication and adaptation of techniques used by postdramatic theatre, the fairytales and their objects disrupt and defamiliarize a typical museum experience favoring instead a mode of experience that oscillates between that of discovery and of constructivism.


H. C. Andersen’s fairy tales in children’s play community – heritage used as treasured trash

Herdis Toft

Hans Christian Andersen is a cultural icon in the Danish community, and his fairy tales are canonized as treasured Danish cultural heritage. However, situated as they are today in a crosscultural mix between folklore, booklore and medialore, they also may be analysed as useful, treasured trash in a play culture where children recycle them in transmitted, transformed and transgressive modes. His fairy tales function as raw materials – trash – for play-production, and these contemporary children muddle, mingle, remix their formulas and elements with other materials and adjust them to a play context through improvisations. So they perform what we shall name FairyPlay - just like Hans Christian Andersen himself did. We show Hans Christian Andersen as an intimate connoisseur of play culture, a homo ludens, a trash-sculptor and a thing-finder, like Pippi Longstocking and like children in play.


I belong to the World: An Exhibition Warms the Winter of Seoul

Hong Bin Kang, Jaekyung Lee

A small Andersen exhibition Seoul Museum of History co-hosted with Odense City Museum two winters ago, proved to be a blockbuster, drawing 320,000 visitors, 92 media coverages and a number of spin-off shows. This proves the undying appeal of Andersen but, at the same time, raises a question: what sustains Andersen when everyday life, even that of children, is saturated with fast-paced routine and digitalized images? The most immediate sustainers are the mothers who read Anderson a generation ago, who brought their children to the museum and volunteered to assist the exhibition. Standing before them, however, are three generations of Korean writers who first introduced Andersen to Korea and had kept him relevant. In the final analysis, it is Andersen’s oeuvre itself that allows sustainability. Like a rich mine or deep well it invites continued rereading without failing to touch the hearts of people across cultural, social, political differences.


The Extraordinary and the Commonplace

Ib Johansen

In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales we notice that the search for true community is on the agenda in one way or another in quite a few places; but at the same time this search quite often tends to be hampered by some kind of daemonic agency, upsetting everything. The polarity in question is at the same time frequently supplemented by another pair of opposites, where the extraordinary individual (like the ugly duckling) is longing for a kind of mystical unity with the commonplace, that underlying common ground, where separation and estrangement can be overcome. These contrasting themes may be recognized in three of Andersen’s stories: “The Drop of Water” (1847), “The Happy Family” (1847, 1848), and “The Wood Nymph” (1868): in these three stories a widely varying emphasis is nevertheless placed on the foresaid thematic elements, and we sometimes even come across obviously parodic versions of the set-up.


The problem of ‘The Red Shoes’: Steps Towards a Reading of Unreadability

Jacob Bøggild

“The Red Shoes” is a story about community at several levels. The protagonist, Karen, is an outsider from the beginning of the story, and remains one until the end. She is one of many characters in Andersen’s stories who raise questions about the notion of community by being excluded from one. The question whether community is at all conceivable without being founded upon the sacrifice or exclusion of someone or something is a pertinent one in Andersen. In spite of her exclusion, Karen is very much a social being. She incarnates the notion that desire is social, because desire is the desire of the Other. Furthermore, she exemplifies that desire, as the desire of the Other, is a result of the ban on or the prohibition of something. Karen might be vain. But she is also the victim of forces beyond the control of a human subject.


Andersen’s Community of Readers: Author Readings and Nineteenth-Century Vocal Culture

Jakob Stougaard Nielsen

Much like Charles Dickens, Andersen was an oral performer of his own works. Throughout his career he would read aloud from the first draft of a tale to an intimate circle of friends; the tale would then be revised according to the audience’s response, and then read aloud again before a final version would make it into publication. He would later in his career read to a larger and more diverse public. This paper will argue that Andersen discovered that by reconnecting his literary works with his voice in public readings, he could reproduce the intimacy, responsiveness, and conversational nature imagined for his printed tales. As a celebrity author whose tales had left the safe confines of the nursery to be read by diverse audiences in several periodicals and in often less than satisfying translations, public readings were a way to reclaim authority over his dispersed works and connect with a motley community of readers.


H.C. Andersen’s use of anthropomorphism: conveying themes of pathos and hope

Julia Paludan

Anthropomorphism - and especially the symbolic use of feathered creatures - is a common theme in many of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tales. It is employed in such works as ’The Ugly Duckling’ , ’The Sweethearts’, ‘The Darning Needle’, ’It’s Quite True’ and also ’The Marsh- King’s Daughter’ as well as many others. The symbolic use of birds is an important theme in many of his works, where he evokes the beauty of nature and its creatures, often with an added touch of humour.
Andersen’s personification of animals also provides a subtle disguise for graver issues, allowing younger readers access to complex and universal issues.
Just as Aesop’s fables, H.C. Andersen conveys moral issues of often sombre content, in a way which appeals to all generations and nationalities. Andersen’s popularity derives from his skill in expressing pathos as well as beauty and hope.


How does Hans Christian Andersen ‘write’ gardens?

Karin Esmann Knudsen, phd, associale professor SDU

From his travels H.C. Andersen knew famous gardens as Villa d’Este in Tivoli, the park around Villa Borghese in Rome and the park complex around Versailles and Trianon in France, and in Denmark he had a close relationship to gardens as Frederiksberg Have, Glorup, Gisselfeld and Bregentved, and he also visited Liselund and Sanderumgaards Have. At the time of his life and writings the English landscape garden had been transferred into Denmark as a so called romantic garden (Elling 1942). The paper will examine the interaction between the ancient topoi, the ideal landscapes, and the real gardens in the physical world where H.C. Andersen stayed and wrote i.e. Den grimme ælling and Den lykkelige familie. How does he write about the gardens in his diaries and in his autobiographies, and how do the gardens appear in his fairy tales? How can we recognize his special voice and way of telling when it comes to gardens?


Ethics of the discarded. Hans Christian Andersen’s use of waste, rubbish, and other stuff

Karin Sanders. University of California, Berkeley

Andersen’s many stories of misplaced coins, shattered piggy-banks, chipped teacups, broken bottles, wasted tops, trashed balls, and frayed collars speak volumes about his investment in the discarded, in waste and trash and rubbish. Is there a deeper correspondence hidden behind the mélange of things in Andersen’s oeuvre? One that points to a sense of obligation in the human world? Can Andersen’s object tales, for example, be seen as a way to disrupt a given social order in the community of persons? Andersen’s stories of decayed and aging objects often suggest that there is in fact added value to the ostensibly value-less, and his many transient things frequently claim poetic power to control social anxieties. Yet, to what degree is there an ethics attached to discarded or useless “stuff” in his tales? Taking cues from Michael Thompson’s Rubbish Theory (1979) and Gay Hawkins’ The Ethics of Waste (2006), this paper will examine how Andersen weighs human values against material value and ponders what kinds of environmental, philosophical and poetic economies emerge in his tales.


Inspiring New Communities: Adapting HC Andersen’s social justice scripts and emotion schemas

Katrina Gutierrez

H.C. Andersen’s fairy tales often involve a script promoting social justice, positioning readers to think critically about social hierarchies and otherness. Moreover, he invokes ‘emotion schemas’, or a persisting model for an emotional response to particular types of people and situations regardless of time period and context. Focusing on examples from the Philippines and Asia, this paper examines how H.C. Andersen’s scripts and emotion schemas are globalized and hybridized to reinforce the retelling culture’s ideas of social responsibility and community. I will explore how schemas for social and personal identity in H.C. Andersen’s original texts become hybrid or ‘glocal’ in ways that represent or aim to effect cultural, societal or ideological transformations.


Hans Christian Andersen and the city of Paris

Kristina Junge Jørgensen (Strasbourg University)

Hans Christian Andersen was in Paris several times from his first journey as a young man in 1833 till the last journey as a famous and honored writer in 1870. To him, Paris was the city that had everything and dubbed it “the City of the Cities” (byernes by). One of his most important journeys was in 1843, where he succeeded in becoming a part of the French, literary community thanks to his contact with the French translater Xavier Marmier. He made friends with the French writers that he admired such as Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas senior. I will examine the importance these journeys have had on Andersen’s literary production. The city of Paris is a theme in Andersen’s production, especially in the novels “Only a fiddler” and “O.T.” In the last period of his production, the city of Paris was also a source of inspiration as we can see it in the fairytale “The Dryad” which was writen after Andersen’s two journeys in 1867 to visit the world exhibition in Paris.


The Andersen “Community”: New Values and New Morals for Modernity in China and East Asia (for the area of “literature and Literary Studies”)

Kwok-kan Tam, Chair Professor & Dean of Arts & Social Sciences, Open University of Hong Kong

Many of Andersen’s stories have been translated into Chinese and introduced to China for more than 100 years. They are read as children’s literature for values and morals that are universal, but hidden in these values and morals are underlying concepts about truth, self-identity and individuality that challenge traditional Chinese concepts of communitarianism. Andersen represents new values for China’s modernity, with the repressive nature of Chinese communitarianism being unraveled and satirized. Tracing the influence of Andersen in China, this paper will deal with Chinese representations of Andersen, particularly in recent years with opening of the Andersen Theme Park in Shanghai and the wide circulation of Andersen stories in animation films. Chinese representation of Andersen will be contrasted with the Japanese and the Korean so as to understand the reception of Andersen in the East Asian context.


Travelling: Temporary Communities

Lars Handesten

On a journey you will experience different kind of communities. They are temporary and fleeting like many of the communities in our everyday life. Hans Christian Andersen experienced many of these fleeting communities and he made them last in his travelogues. At that time a journey could go on for a long time. You could be caged in inside a stage-coach with a company of pleasant or unbearable people for days as he describes it in A Poet’s Bazar. When he arrived at some new place, new companionships and communities emerged, either spontaneously or because of his recommendations. Andersen is always writing “we” in his travel accounts and diaries. But who are this “we”? What kind of communities is he depicting and how is he depicting them? Does his perception of companionship and understanding of temporary communities change during his life as a traveler because he is getting older and become a more experienced traveler?


The “Spell” of Realism in Hans Christian Andersen Studies

Li Hongye, professor of Hunan Normal University

The meaning of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales generated in the Chinese context is subjected to the historical-cultural restrictions since the 20th century. Turning Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales into the mode of realism has become the cultural basis for the fairy tales to be disseminated far and wide in China. Nevertheless, only by getting rid of the long-existing cognitive pattern as well as the “spell” of realism in Hans Christian Andersen studies in China, can we usher in new breakthroughs in this field.
Key words: H·C·Andersen’s fairy tales; realism; historical-cultural context


Reception History of Hans Christian Andersen in China: On Community-Building in Andersen’s Literary Career

Lian Lu

This talk gives an overview of the reception history of Hans Christian Andersen in China: how he was translated and introduced to China of the early 20th century, and how his popularity remained strong particularly during the mid-20th century – a time when China averted from most Western writers. Moreover, it puts Anderson’s major prose fiction into the landscape of global community of letters by examining the qualities of an ideal community as envisioned in Andersen’s literary tales and inspired by his literary career, and their enduring inspirations to date in regard to the fulfillment of humanity and the betterment of society.


Caught between two communities: A discussion of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1847 German autobiography and collected edition

Mads Sohl Jessen

Hans Christian Andersen’s first published autobiography Das Märchen meines Lebens ohne Dichtung came out early in 1847 for his German readership. In his autobiography Andersen paints a to some degree frictionless picture of his rise from his poor back family background in Odense to his stature as a European literary star and celebrity. However, the Danish manuscript contains some interesting remarks which Andersen chose to leave out in regards of his meteoric rise. For example, he reflects on the fact that some people poked fun at his new life among the aristocracy. Why did Andersen choose not to include these statements? And why did he choose to delete political statements in his writings from the 1830s for his German collected edition and thus commit acts of self-censorship? Presumably because Andersen did not want to show the world that he felt caught between his early engagement in the liberal community in 1830s and his participation in a more conservative community from the 1840s and onwards.


For Freedom of Imagination”: Hans-Christian Andersen and His Legacy in the Post-Stalin Era

Marina Balina

The legacy of Hans-Christian Andersen in Russian literature manifests itself far beyond his popularity as a fairy tale writer. However, the emblematic usage of Andersen’s persona and his special formative role as a writer for the post-Stalin era generation of Soviet literati is seldom discussed. The Danish writer was first introduced as an emblem of imaginative freedom by Konstantin Paustovsky, one of the most important literary figures of the Thaw period (1953-1964), in his 1955 book of essays on the nature of creative writing, “The Golden Rose”. Andersen’s imaginative powers were cast as a special gift that could not be controlled or subordinated to any outside pressures or political manipulations. In my presentation, I focus on the symbolic value of Andersen as the freedom of imagination icon for the writers of the post-Stalin time.


Hans Christian Andersen, friend of the rich and defender of the poor

Michel Forget

All his life, Andersen felt a sort of fascination for the world of royalty, aristocracy and the rich bourgeoisie. Born and brought up in extreme poverty, he always sought the company of the great and powerful. Without their financial and moral support, and despite his wealth of talent, he would never have achieved the literary success he did.
Yet he remained faithful to his social background all his life. He never forgot the world he was born into, that of the poor, the outcasts, the humble, and he often acted as the spokesman or advocate of the deprived. However, it was not easy to display liberal views in the era of absolute monarchy, when concern for the poor was soon considered suspect. So throughout his life he had to face this contradiction between his liberal beliefs and the dominant values of the milieu in which he yearned to live. This paper sets out to identify some of the literary devices Andersen used in order to cope with this contradiction.


Hans Christian Andersen between a cognitive and a perceptual paradigm

Mogens Davidsen

The presentation intends to account for two different sources of Andersen’s work in terms of paradigms of reality understanding. One, the cognitive paradigm, expresses what we “know” about the world through our daily contact with reality at all levels, bodily and mental. It is rooted in a “cultic”, oral and “primitive” idea of the world and its representation.
The other, the perceptual paradigm, expresses how we sense the world, primarily through our eyes. It is rooted in a civilized idea of art as a more or less mimetic and realistic representation of reality. It is the paradigm of the Golden age of Andersen, and it represents the norm of literature and art of the privileged culture that he was socialized into. However, Andersen’s insistence on the cognitive paradigm of his illiterate social origin causes a clash in his work which makes it appear “modern”.


H.C. Andersen’s Authorship Performance: The Writer, His Portraits and His Statues as Community Builders Then and Now

Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru

In his 1991 article “Narrative Identity”, Paul Ricoeur states that identity is formed in the narrative process. Storytelling as identity performance was H.C. Andersen’s specialty: even though he struggled in his early years, he wrote his autobiography as the ideal “fairy tale”. He performed himself a lot, striving to project a happy, successful image, as suggested by his aestheticised poses in portraits and statues. He constructed himself as the ideal storyteller, who appealed in various ways to grown-ups and children. In agreement with our perception of Andersen as one of Denmark’s emblematic writers, but also as a “citizen of the world” (as suggested by the subtitle of Sven Hakon Rossel’s 1996 collection), through his statues all around the world, as well as his portraits and the implied author-figure in his stories, H.C. Andersen, the storyteller loved by both Danes and non-Danes, was and still is a very strong Danish and international community builder for children and grown-ups alike.


Proposal for paper to the interdisciplinary conference H. C. Andersen and community on the topic of H.C. Andersen and Bulgaria

Nadezhda Mihaylova

The paper outlines the two-way intercultural relationship of H.C. Andersen’s works and Bulgaria. On the one hand, how he saw and described this country in A Poet’s Bazaar (1842), and on the other, how the Bulgarian culture has accepted and interpreted his works since the end of the 19th century until the present day. Andersen shared his impressions of Bulgaria, seen from the deck of the ship he boarded on his way back to Europe from his long voyage to Greece and Turkey. He mentioned Tutrakan, Vidin, Nikopol, Lom, and the Balkan mountain and found resemblance to the landscape and nature of his homeland.
The other aspect of intercultural relationship, discussed in the paper, focuses on the reception of H.C. Andersen’s works in Bulgaria.


Hans Christian Andersen and World Literature

Nate Kramer

The question of world literature has been of critical importance for the last decade or so. Differing from most theorists interested in this question, Pheng Cheah contends that thinking about world literature must first inquire after the meaning of world itself. Such a worlding in literature is so not because of literature’s powers of figuration, but rather literature’s imagining of a universal community that includes all existing beings and then places oneself within that imagined world as a mere member of it. In doing so, literature encourages a kind of “socialbility,” the possibility for exchange and transaction. What is of greatest value in literature for Cheah is the “ethos generated by the transaction” (28). The goal of my paper will be to think Hans Christian Andersen and his relationship to world literature and cosmopolitanism as a “world-making activity” that brings about precisely such an ethos of interaction, communication and exchange. Andersen’s fairy tales are almost without exception stories that engage with and open up such sociality.


Ethically Anamorphic Transformation in Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Nie Zhenzhao, Distinguished Chair Professor

There are many kinds of anamorphic transformations by way of magic spells for Hans Christian Andersen to write fairy tales. In his writings, spells can be found to be cast on prince or princess or some other people who had to become ugly or animals. Their anamorphic transformations caused a great deal of pain on themselves or their parents and friends. However, they are rescued from the terrible magic spells at last for their goodness, courage and wisdom. On the surface, it is the artistic way of fairy tales to get attraction and interest from anamorphic transformations, but actually it is the teaching way to promote children’s moral development. Because of anamorphic transformations, children could differentiate themselves from beasts and confirm themselves as human being. Because of confirmation as human being, ethical consciousness of children appeared which make them to behave as a good man. And because of anamorphic transformations, children could learn how to be good and moral ones. Stories such as The Wild Swans, The Ugly Duckling, The Loveliest Rose in the World, The Travelling Companion and so on are good examples among Andersen’s fairy tales.


The family in Andersen’s tales: An empty shell or a community in a nutshell?

Poul Houe

Family is a key institution in Andersen’s fiction, but my focus on its role will be limited to the four tales of his in which (forms of) the word family appears in the very title: (1) “Nabofamilierne” (1847), (2) “Den lykkelige Familie” (1948), (3) “Hønse-Grethes Familie” (1869), and (4) “Hvad hele Familien sagde” (1872).
Taken as a whole, these four texts, spanning a quarter of a century, reveal how the topoi of family and community - major signifiers of collective sameness versus otherness - typically reinforce and problematize each other within Andersen’s corpus. The variations they display over time of this “dialectic” allow us to reflect on the intricate boundaries between family and community as both sociocultural domains and aesthetic tropes.


Mapping Hans Christian Andresen’s Visit to Portugal (1866): lived and fictional spaces

Sara Cerqueira-Pascoal

Hans Christian Andersen began in 1866 a three-month visit to Portugal, led by the Danish consul, Jorge O’Neil. In 1866, when he was already 61 years old, Andersen came to Portugal to visit Jorge O’Neill, who lived in Quinta do Pinheiro on the outskirts of Lisbon. During his visit, Andersen went to Coimbra and Aveiro, under the pretext of a working visit of the diplomat, and fell in love with Sintra. Based upon Edward, the geocritical approach that I propose to undertake to A Visit to Portugal by H.C. Andersen (1866) will begin by mapping the places and spaces that he visited (the lived and firstspace) comparing and enhancing the fictional spaces (Soja’s secondspace) in order to highlight and pinpoint the thirdspace.


Ethical Ways of World-making: Re-reading Hans Christian Andersen’s Tales

Shang Biwu, Professor of literature, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

As a rejoinder to Ansgar Nünning’s cultural ways of world-making, and David Herman’s narrative ways of world-making, this article, inspired by Nie Zhenzhao’s ethical literary criticism, proposes ethical ways of world-making. It argues that ethics is not only a way of understanding the world but also a means of creating a world. In a storworld created by narrative fictions, characters have certain ethical identities and ethical consciousness, and to maintain the stability of the world, all the characters need to abide by certain ethical orders. Situated within a particular ethical environment, characters make ethical choices proper accordingly. The paper attempts to draw on Hans Christian Andersen’s tales to illuminate this argument.
Keywords: Hans Christian Andersen; ethical literary criticism; worldmaking


H. C. Andersen and the Tradition of European Children’s literature

Zhang Shengzhen

Morality is the criteria of European Children’s literature. The construction of moral outlook in literary history starts with Plato who centers on perfect virtue and reason. Augustinus believes one can find eternal light (God) via self-examination and radical reflection. Descartes elevates reason to the level of perfect virtue while Locke tries to understand good and evil from one’s experience, thus founding empiricism. Rousseau’s educational doctrine is based on the theory of virtuous human nature. Shaped by this philosophy, European children’s literature writers foster “ultimate goodness” via national, cultural codes and conventions consciously. Deeply rooted in Denmark, but transcend national and time boundaries with universal values; Andersen’s canonical works are bestowed with eternal concerns about human fate and the universe.


H.C. Andersen’s story Everything in its Proper Place: History, community and injustice

Steen Beck

In my presentation, I analyze Andersen’s historical tale ”Everything in its Proper Place” (“Alt på sin rette plads”). The tale deals with the historical development of social classes and their ways of understanding each other from the Middle Ages until the 19th century and can be interpreted as a commentary on injustice and social suppression in his own days. In the end of my paper, I discuss HCA’s interpretation of community and the threats against it. In order to understand Andersen’s position towards aristocracy, the middle class, common people and not least absolutism (which he preferred against the egoism of the middle class), I also analyze fairytales such as The Bell (Klokken) and The Nightingale (Nattergalen).


Hans Christian Andersen and his Social Reception in Austria

Sven Hakon Rossel

Andersen’s gradual development from being a young, unknown Danish writer to becoming socially accepted and acknowledged as an integral part of Austrian social and artistic life is being documented in this presentation.
This process of acculturation begins with Andersen’s first visit to Austria in 1834 and finds its climax in 1846, when he is invited to give a reading of his fairy tales at the imperial castle in Vienna. It is noteworthy that this process to a large degree was the result of a planned strategy on Andersen’s behalf. Before arriving in Vienna he procured letters of recommendations and upon arrival systematically made friends with the city’s most important artistic and intellectual personalities. Another strategic move, of course, was to choose Vienna as a partial setting for his most successful novel in the German-speaking world.


We Have Nothing to be Arrogant About – Hans Christian Andersen and the Aesthetic Liberation of Things

Torsten Bøgh Thomsen

Drawing on contemporary posthumanist and new materialist theory this paper will present readings of Andersen’s fairy tales of things. The argument is that Andersen performs a critique of anthropocentric Romantic dogma through an aesthetic sensibility to the materiality of things as well as explicit philosophical deliberations on questions of agency, free will, self-determination, autonomy and conditionality. This critique comes across in a way that seems not only modern but almost posthuman in its ambition to accentuate human embeddedness in and equality with the world.


Andersen and his circle(s)

Viggo Hjørnager

The topic for this conference is ‘Andersen and community’, which can of course be understood in many ways. I suggest looking at Andersen’s relationship with the social structure as it is reflected in his fiction. Whereas it could be said that Andersen was outside the system, spreading light while remaining hidden himself, as de Mylius has recently reminded us, it is equally true that Andersen and most of the protagonists of his works invested a lot of effort in qualifying for membership of the more desirable of these structures. For a start, let us look at Andersen’s view of the class system, particularly the middle classes. But there will also be specific comments on his contacts with the academic class and with other artists and writers. Finally a few words must be said of his growing interest in the working class towards the end of his life.


The Communities Fostered by the Translation of Andersen’s Tales: Two Cases

Wenjie Li, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Since it was coined in early twentieth century in classical sociology, community as a concept has been defined diversely. When human societies have developed from pre-modern societies to modern societies the sense of singularity and stability, which was considered as the key connotation of community, has been substituted by plurality and fluidity. Scholars (Benedict Anderson 1983, Anthony P. Cohen 1985, Philip E. Wegner 2002) started to realise that communities are also metaphysical and fluid beings constructed on the basis of imagination and social interaction. Following this understanding of community, this paper is going to look into two types of communities (one is constituted by author, translator, and publisher from different cultures; the other consists of readers, translators, publishers, and patrons in a target culture) fostered by the translation of H. C. Andersen’s tales and present the networking among actors in these communities, hoping to reveal the social function of translational activities and the reason behind David Damrosch’s idea that translation enables a national literary work to enter the canon of world literature.


The Pen and the Inkwell and Communitarianism Message in Anderson’s Fairy Tales

Xiaolan WANG

Hans C. Anderson’s fairy tales are rich in moral message, conveying to child readers abundant life wisdom and ethical edification. His The Pen and the Inkwell is a case in point. After reading The Pen and the Inkwell, readers may be aware that the individual stationery items such as the ink, inkpot, pen and paper are almost useless when they stay as conceited and arrogant individuals, who can not fully play their roles in writing without coordination. They, however, can be used to produce immortal words, express profound thought, and create great works like poems, novels and pictures, which have eternal value when the stationery items cooperate with each other. These stories are meaningful for the innocent child readers, who get to know that it is only in the community that the individuals can achieve their value through cooperation. The individual value, to a degree, depends upon the social and cultural context in which the individuals live.


The Transcultural Impulse of Hans Christian Andersen’s Literary Imagination

Ye Rulan

As the world is getting flat in terms of technological landscape, it provides chances for different cultures to interact and creates a new sense of cultural community that transcends the geographical boundaries. Such cultural community is based on mutual recognition with and acceptance of cultural values among people from different cultural backgrounds. As an important carrier of cultural values, literature contributes to the forming of cross-cultural communities in the trend of globalization and generates cultural resonance. Andersen’s literary creations play a dynamic role in connecting the past and present, the young and the old, and people who speak various languages. The writer’s alchemy of art brings people into a universal community that responds to the value of self and essential beauty of every individual’s soul.