The work of Hans Christian Andersen - Andersen Hans Christian

Essays on literary works - 2023

The work of Hans Christian Andersen
Andersen Hans Christian

Scandinavian folklore was that precious medium that nourished the literary fairy tale, including the work of the great Danish storyteller H. K. Andersen, the Finnish writer S. Topelius and the Swedish writer S. Lagerlöf. The work of Hans Christian Andersen - Chane Christian is one of the most significant phenomena in the history of Danish and world literature of the 19th century. The author of numerous works in various genres, he reached the top in his fairy tales, because the humanistic, ideological and aesthetic significance of these fairy tales, revealing the world of great and pure human feelings, deep and noble thoughts, is unusually great.

Andersen's fairy tales occupy an important place in the history of the national culture of Denmark, as the writer put a deep concrete historical meaning into them. His works provide a broad critique of Danish society in the 20s-70s of the 19th century. “For us Danes,” said the Danish communist writer H. Scherfig, “Hans Christian Andersen is a truly national, original writer, inseparable from our native flowering islands. In our minds, he is inextricably linked with the history of Denmark, with its traditions, nature, the character of the people, with its peculiar penchant for humor.

Andersen's fairy tales are dear and understandable to people of different ages, different eras, different countries. They contribute to the formation of children's consciousness, educate in the spirit of democracy. Adults see deep philosophical content in them. Popular in Russia in the 19th century, they are still alive today in the Soviet Union. The bright images of Andersen's fairy tales, their great humanistic ideas are especially close to the Soviet reader. The celebration of the 150th anniversary of Andersen's birth, held on April 2, 1955, by decision of the World Peace Council, was evidence of the great international significance of the writer's legacy.

Andersen is a democrat and humanist, whose worldview was strongly influenced by the traditions of the Enlightenment and contemporary political events in Europe; he hailed the July Revolution in France and sang of the "tree of freedom" that grew in Paris. He was sympathetic to the revolutionary events in Italy, Switzerland, Greece and to the peasant movement in his homeland. However, the patriarchal nature of Denmark at that time, about which F. Engels wrote that nowhere, except in this country, there is "such a degree of moral squalor, guild and estate narrowness ..." \ forced Andersen to cautiously accept the events of 1848 and the first steps of the labor movement in Denmark in the early 1970s.

Andersen did not have a clear and definite political program, he stood on a general humanist position. The writer did not take part in the struggle for a constitution in his homeland, although he sympathized with the progressive ideas of the era. He fought for the ethical ideal of justice, goodness, love and human dignity. These enlightening and humanistic principles Andersen laid the foundation for his work. At the very beginning of his literary path, the writer followed the traditions of the romantic school, but already at the end of the 1920s he opposed the excessive fantasy of German romanticism in the works of his Danish epigones. In the future, Andersen demanded that literature truthfully reflect life.

Andersen was born on April 2, 1805 in Odense. His father was a shoemaker, his mother was a laundress; the boy attended a school for the poor, and in 1818 he moved to Copenhagen, where he tried to become a singer and ballet actor. In 1823, the future writer went to school in Slagels, then in Helsingor, in 1828 - at the University of Copenhagen. From the beginning of the 30s he was engaged in professional literary activity and traveled a lot. A trip to France, Switzerland and Italy, Greece and Spain had a special influence on Andersen's worldview. The writer was a member of the opposition society for the struggle for freedom of the press in Denmark. He read his works in the "Union of Workers", and in 1867 he was elected an honorary citizen of his native city of Odense. By the end of his life, the great storyteller became a truly folk writer of Denmark.

Andersen began writing in the early 1920s and tried his hand at the genres of lyrics, novel, drama, travel essay, biographical sketch, etc. Even in his very first poems, the motifs of future fairy tales are clearly visible (“Mermaid from Samsø Island” , “Holger the Dane”, “The Snow Queen”, etc.), and later his patriotism (“Denmark is my homeland”) and sympathy for freedom-loving ideals (“Sentry”, “Chillon Castle”).

Of great interest are Andersen's novels The Improviser (1835), then O. T." (1836), which reflected the unrealized idea of works about the July Revolution.

The main part of Andersen's legacy is his fairy tales and stories (collections: Tales Told to Children, 1835-1842; New Tales, 1843-1848; Stories, 1852-1855; New Tales and Stories, 1858-1872 ), which made his name world famous.

Using folk Danish plots and creating new original fairy tales, Andersen introduced deeply relevant content into his works, reflected in them the complex contradictions of contemporary reality (“Little Klaus and Big Klaus”, “The Princess and the Pea”, “The King’s New Dress”, “Galoshes happiness, etc.).

The originality of these wonderful fairy tales lies in the fact that Andersen, on the one hand, unusually humanized, brought to life the most fantastic characters of his works (“Thumbelina”, “The Little Mermaid”). On the other hand, he gave a fantastic character to ordinary, real objects and phenomena. People, toys, household items, etc. become the heroes of his works, experiencing unprecedented magical adventures (“Bronze Boar”, “Darning Needle”, “Collar”, etc.). Andersen's humor and lively colloquial language give the fairy tales an unfading charm. The role of the narrator is also unusually great in them. The narrator is the bearer of Andersen's ethical ideal, the spokesman for his creed, the model of his positive hero. He reveals the plight of the people and condemns their enslavers, he denounces the vices of secular society.