The most important storyteller Hans Christian Andersen - Andersen Hans Christian

Essays on literary works - 2023

The most important storyteller Hans Christian Andersen
Andersen Hans Christian

He told about his life in his autobiographical essays “The Tale of My Life” “The Adventures of My Life”. The family was poor and huddled in one room, where, along with household items, there was also a shoemaker. His father was drawn to knowledge and culture, taught his son to see and understand the natural world. A bookshelf hung over his machine tool, he read to his son the comedies of the classic of Danish literature L. Holberg, the fables of the Frenchman J. de La Fontaine and the fairy tale "A Thousand and One Nights". The father died in 1816. Since 1813, the mother had to earn a living by washing. In 1819, without money, but wanting to see the world and get an education, Andersen went to Copenhagen. For the first three years, the clumsy and ingenuously annoying provincial dreamer, dressed in his father's things sewn on him, tried to connect his life with the theater.

He studied singing, attended a ballet school, tried to become a dramatic actor and wrote poems, tragedies and dramas. In 1822, Andersen gave the theater a drama based on the Old Norse plot, The Sun of the Elves. The work was immature, but the theater reviewer was able to see the talent in this almost illiterate young man, and the board of directors decided to get him a gymnasium scholarship.

The seventeen-year-old boy got into the second grade of the Latin school, where the boys studied. Despite the ridicule of his comrades, he finished it. Throughout his life, Andersen visited Italy and Germany, Spain and France, England and Sweden, Portugal and Greece, the Balkans and North Africa, Asia Minor, traveled along the Danube and the Black Sea, was going to visit America. His travel notes, vividly and captivatingly written, opened up the world to contemporary Danes. Romantic fantasy, accurate sketches, sometimes fictional, but always prompted by reality, episodes captured the reader. Andersen's museum keeps his travel trunk and next to it a rope that he carried with him in case a fire breaks out in the hotel where he is staying and he needs to escape through the window. "Who travels - lives!" - stated the writer. Andersen wrote six novels in the 1930s. "Improviser", "Only a violinist" were successful. For Danish literature, where the romantic trend held its own, Andersen's novels were of great importance. He was compared with W. Scott and W. Hugo.

Andersen's name would go down in the history of Danish literature, even if he created only novels, plays, poems and travel essays, but fairy tales brought him worldwide recognition. In all the works of the Danish storyteller, one can feel his talent to create short, vivid, figurative sketches, to characterize the phenomenon in one word, in one phrase, which is especially specific for a fairy tale.

A special mood, formed in childhood, made everything he told about amazingly convincing, whether it was stories about trolls, fairies, mermaids, or about other miracles. Researchers have repeatedly noted that it is not at all difficult for Andersen's heroes to move from the world of miracles and fantasy to the world of everyday life and reality. There are no impenetrable boundaries between them. The beginning of his work as a storyteller should be considered 1835.

The surprise of the reviewers was the lack of instructiveness in Andersen's fairy tales, the destruction of the boundaries between social strata, the lack of usual respect for princes and kings. Nor could it be accepted that children were treated without the usual condescension. And all this is just the brightest individual features of Andersen's fairy tales. Andersen himself at that time did not yet believe that he had finally found himself.The writer calls the collections of the last stage “Stories”, whose tales are becoming more and more tangible features of reality, he makes great contemporaries, scientists and artists, for example, the sculptor Thorvaldsen (“Children's Chatter”), the heroes of his works. The writer wants to draw attention to the almost fabulous possibilities of the human mind and talent. But not only the majestic interests Andersen in these years. He, as always, pays attention to the ordinary person and his worries. Fairy tales "Hidden - forgotten", etc. tell about the most ordinary people.

Particularly original is The Ice Maiden, which synthesized the discoveries of previous years. In it, the desire for authenticity and realism is combined with a rich imagination, and psychologism in the depiction of human characters is combined with the reproduction of the representations of the animal world. Light author's humor permeates the story about the life of a hunter and his beloved. The theme of "The Ice Maiden" is close to the "Snow Queen", however, Andersen, having placed his heroes in reality (they live in the real canton of Vallis, read G. Byron, etc.), could not even tame evil.

The Ice Maiden becomes almighty, and not the selflessly loving Babette. The fantasy associated with the Ice Maiden recreates the incomprehensible forces of modernity, which kill the good in a person and make him act as if contrary to himself. Love ceases to be omnipotent, as in the fairy tales of the first two periods. Strength passes to talent and knowledge: fairy tales about scientists and scientific discoveries testify to this.

A highly moral position is shown in the way the writer reveals the beauty of nature - he considered it the source of his creativity, taught his reader to peer into the world around him and love it. At the same time, he does not describe what he saw, but makes his heroes experience a miracle that is called nature: in "Wild Swans" - during the journey of a sister on the wings of brothers, in "Garden of Eden" - in the stories of the winds. Sympathizing with the dear Little Mermaid, the reader sees in a new way what he might not have noticed, and learn to appreciate the everyday world that surrounds us all the time and which is really filled with the real.

Andersen does not moralize even where he condemns his heroes. Keeping up with his time and even somewhat ahead of it, the great storyteller, depicting events, makes the readers themselves think about the content of what is happening and draw their own conclusions. He is not attracted by the enlightening desire to explain everything to the reader, his own fantasy opens up space for thought, as was partly inherent in romantic art and continued by the realists of the late 19th century, when intellectualization became one of the main signs of literature. Andersen solves this problem in his own way, referring to a fairy tale. The 40s are a new and highest take-off of Andersen's fabulous creativity.