My journey with Hans Christian Andersen has come to an end, but there will be several essays about Hans and his stories to come.
I spent quite a while reading through all of Hans’ stories and analyzing them. Reading one author’s work isn’t quite as fun as reading something from multiple authors, but it’s still fun. If you read a large part of one author’s work you get to know them in a way. Artists put a lot of themselves into their work, whether they mean to or not. You create what you know. If you know sadness, you will create sadness in some shape or form. If you know happiness, it will be there as well. If you are lonely, your loneliness will show through in your work. If you are a romantic, it’s there. If you love music, if you love history, if you love your country, if you’re religious–it’s all there.
Let’s do a little recap of the facts of Hans before we jump into essays about his fairy tales. Hans lived from 1805-1875. He was born in Odense, Denmark. Hans came from a relatively poor family, but managed to get something of an education. He was also very interested in theater. He sang, as a soprano of all things, and acted.
Hans began his career of writing both stories and poems.
In his personal life, he never married, and probably never had sex. He loved both men and women, but apparently no one ever took Hans up on his offers. Love letters to various people were in Hans’ history, but Hans never really experienced a serious relationship in his life. He fell out of bed at 75 and never recovered. Most likely, Hans died of liver cancer.
In a few essays, we’re going to look at how Hans’ life intruded into his stories.