E 322 • Hans Christian Andersen
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
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. However, he is the first great fantasy storyteller 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 and 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.
HCA's fantastic fairy tales have attracted numerous film (and theatre) makers. We will watch and analyse excerpts from these productions as part of the course.
Three papers of 6-7 pages (One of which may be substantially revised) 80%
Class participation 20%
Jackie Wullschlager, Hans Christian Andersen, The Life of a Storyteller
Hans Christian Andersen, The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories