This book presents the stories of Hans Christian Andersen in their original form (translated). These original stories contain undertones that are lost with Disney-like euphemisms and euphemistic adaptations. This also means there are some ghastly contents to children, so be attentive. As well, it is unillustrated, and may be more difficult to relay to children, but any effort will be well worth it, in my opinion. At any rate, it could be good reading for adults who wish to discover the original version of some of the fairy tales they might have heard as a child.
It is a pity that most people only know Hans Christian Andersen for a few of his easiest fairy tales. What springs to mind for almost everyone is stories like The Emperors New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling and perhaps The Snowqueen. But Hans Christian Andersen has written a vast array of profoundly touching tales. In Odense, Denmark the Danish actor Troels Moller said (two years ago in a lecture on H.C.A. & God),
We are all going to die. H.C.Andersen knew this, he worked with it and he used it to show us all the beauty of life - the beauty of all life.
His stories are not only for children they are for everyone. The likes of H.C.Andersen can be found nowhere. If you want to discover the full grandeur of his genius you MUST read more than just his popular works. I would even urge you to go to Odense to learn Danish - Much is lost in translation. But although the English translation doesnt reach the heights of the original Danish text I still give it one of my 5 star sets. And dont think that its a case of petty nationalism - you will find no other Danish writer that Ill grant 5 great ones. It is entertainment, philosphy and religion.
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