Danish historian finds unknown Andersen fairy tale
2012-12-21 0:00

By Jan M. Olsen | The Detroit News

For years, the somber fairy tale about a lonely candle who wanted to be lit dwelt in oblivion at the bottom of a box in Denmarkís National Archives. Its recent discovery has sent ripples through the literary world because it is believed to be one of the first tales ever written by Hans Christian Andersen.


A newly found manuscript of a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen which has been located in Odense, pictured in the State Archives in Copenhagen, Denmark.


The famed Dane wrote nearly 160 fairy tales in his life, including classics such as "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Mermaid." The tale of the candle may have been written when he was still a teen, experts say.

Retired historian Esben Brage said Thursday that he found the six-page text on Oct. 4 while searching through archive boxes that had belonged to wealthy families from Andersenís hometown of Odense in central Denmark.

The handwritten copy of the tale, entitled "Tallow Candle," and dedicated to a vicarís widow named Bunkeflod who had lived across from Andersenís home, had been left seemingly untouched at the bottom of one of the boxes.

"I was ecstatic," Brage said. "I had never imagined this."

The short story tells the tale of how a tallow candle seeks help from a tinder box to be able to ignite itself. A senior curator at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense said the work is likely one of the authorís earliest, written at the age of 18 ó seven years before his official debut in 1830.

"I often get calls about stuff thought to have been of Andersenís hand. Most of the time, it is not. This time I was thrilled," Ejnar Stig Askgaard told the Associated Press. "This is a very early attempt at prose by Andersen, who was then 18."

Askgaard said Andersen regularly visited the Bunkeflod widow, reading to her and borrowing books from her, even after he moved to Copenhagen to attend university.

"The text is not at the level of the more mature fairy tales that we know from Andersenís later writing," Askgaard said. But "we see traces of Andersenís history in the text, the language and the themes in the manuscript ... it all fits with him, it all bears his fingerprint."

The Danish language "Doedningen" from 1830 had long been considered Andersenís first fairy tale. That story was later re-written and published again in 1835 as "The Traveling Companion" ó a grim tale about death.


[...]


Read the full article at: detroitnews.com






Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Kanye West says in his VMA 2015 speech that he's running for president in 2020
2015-09-01 0:15
'And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.' Kanye West received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at tonight's MTV Video Music Awards, and he closed his acceptance speech by announcing he's running for president in 2020. Yes, really! The segment started with a bang when West was handed his ...
White students in Australia rejecting "multicultural" agenda, this is a problem apparently
2015-09-01 0:03
According to Dr Christina Ho from Sydney’s University of Technology, White Students have not obeyed the command to become “multicultural”. White Students have very rarely mixed with non-White groups, and Dr Ho thinks that this is a problem which must be solved. “Schools are becoming more segregated in terms of both class and ethnicity,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “More and more ...
Sweden: The De-balling of the Vikings
2015-08-31 23:03
For some reason, the deliberately-injected moral and mental cancer known as 'liberalism', aka 'progressivism' has always seemed to metastasize faster in the Nordic countries, particularly Scandinavian ones. This phenomenon is also observable among the American descendants of Scandinavian immigrants in places like Minnesota and Wisconsin. The hypothesis of this reporter is that the innate, perhaps even genetic, altruism and human ...
New Monsanto Spray Kills Bugs by Messing With Their Genes
2015-08-31 22:49
In a fascinating long piece in MIT Technology Review, Antonio Regalado examines the genetically modified seed industry's latest blockbuster app in development—one that has nothing to do with seeds. Instead, it involves the industry's other bread-and-butter product: pesticide sprays. But we're not talking about the poisonous chemicals you convinced your dad to stop dousing the lawn with. The novel sprays ...
Obama to speak with Jewish groups on Iran deal
2015-08-31 22:16
President Barack Obama is using a Friday webcast to try to allay concerns from Jewish communities about the nuclear agreement with Iran. Obama will deliver remarks about the agreement and take questions from participants. The webcast is being organized by two major Jewish organizations that have held similar events with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. The Israeli ...
More News »