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Douglas Biow, Director MEZ 3.126, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-3470

Summer 2007

EUS f361 • Hans Christian Andersen-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
84920 MTWThF
1:00 PM-2:30 PM
BEN 1.102

Course Description

Hans Christian Andersen is without question the best known Dane. He was already famous in his lifetime and the strive for fame was a driving force in his life: "25 years ago, I arrived with my small parcel in Copenhagen, a poor stranger of a boy, and today I have been drinking my chocolate with the Queen". A large part of his works, which included novels, plays, poetry, tales and short stories (besides his extensive diaries), is an attempt to interpret his own social destiny: "The history of my life will be the best commentary on my work", he stated. Mistakenly, Andersen's works have been considered to be exclusively for children. He is far more than that. He is the first great fantasy story-teller and his influence on Danish - and world - literature is immense. The absurd and fantastic universes he created, still capture children as well as adults all over the world, yet Andersen is not entirely appreciated as a world-class writer. During the course, we will read some of Andersen's best known fairytales besides a renowned biography. Our reading will include the biographical traits of the stories but it will primarily focus on his mastery of the genre and his complex narrative method. Furthermore, we will broaden the view to contemporaries in the romantic age or the "golden age".

HCA's fantastic fairy tales have attracted numerous film (and theatre) makers. We will watch and analyse excerpts from these as part of the course.

Grading Policy

Three papers of 6-7 pages 80% (One of which may be substantially revised) Class participation 20%


Jackie Wullschlager: Hans Christian Andersen. The Life of a Storyteller. Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories


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