Thursday, September 24, 2009

Taking the Fairy Out of Fairy Tales - Article on Hans Christian Andersen

I saw this lovely article (complete with gorgeous pictures) last week from Art Passions and thought I'd link you.

Art Passions latest article, "Fairy Tales in Search of a Soul", discusses how Hans Christian Andersen's tales are different and specifically discusses The Little Mermaid and The Brave Tin Soldier as examples of his mastery of story telling elements.Mermaid (Transfiguration) by Sulamith Wulfing

Here's how the article begins, just to get you started:
I’ve been neglecting Hans Christian Andersen and I feel guilty about this. It’s partly because of all the noted fairy story tellers, he wrote mostly original work (rather than transcribing folk tales) and because of this, many of his stories labeled as “fairy tales” simply aren’t—at least from the perspective of popular assumptions about them. The popular term “fairy tale ending” presupposes a happy ending such as “lived happily ever after” and many authors and transcribers seem to assume that this is what both adult and child readers want. Andersen does provide this sort of ending, but his stories are more complex and the resolution not dependent on any of the magic that fairy stories depend on. The sense of magic we associate with fairy tales is not produced by transformations or spells, but often through the reader’s assumption of anthropomorphic qualities – and Andersen was a master of this process – thus allowing the reader to supply his own magic. His stories are not always from some distant past but rather draw from the edges of our imagination in the recent and present. Of all the fairy tale authors, he is among the most ironic. And he is nowhere more ironic than in his tragic tales of unrequited love.
Continue reading (along with more gorgeous illustrations) HERE.

Art Passions also have two other pieces of news:

1) They're on Twitter now, so you can follow them there and get their news as soon as it's announced. You can follow them HERE.

2) Art Passions have their calendars for 2010 ready for purchase. There are individual artist ones HERE as well as a variety wall calendar. Go HERE for more information and to order.
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