A number of Hans Christian Andersen's tales,
well-known as well as not, will be examined during the
next fifteen weeks.
Andersen is a splendid storyteller--he
entertains us well--but in order to dispel some common,
but sorely mistaken, notions about him, please keep in
mind that Andersen is not a sweetly
amiable, pleasant, sentimentally naive, and childlike
He can pretend to be all that, but the best of his tales
have a sting; they are humorous, but darkly so; and they
probe into moral and existential issues that remain with
Hans Christian Andersen loved to tell
stories to children, but he loathed the reputation that
he was only a children's author. His stories explore
the human soul and deal with its complexity. Do not expect
simplicity--expect the opposite!