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Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories (Anchor Folktale Library) Paperback – August 9, 1983
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Top Customer Reviews
"We are all going to die. H.C.Andersen knew this, he worked with it and he used it to show us all the beauty of life - the beauty of all life."
His stories are not only for children they are for everyone. The likes of H.C.Andersen can be found nowhere. If you want to discover the full grandeur of his genius you MUST read more than just his popular works. I would even urge you to go to Odense to learn Danish - Much is lost in translation. But although the English translation doesn't reach the heights of the original Danish text I still give it one of my 5 star sets. And don't think that it's a case of petty nationalism - you will find no other Danish writer that I'll grant 5 great ones. It is entertainment, philosphy and religion.
Reliability or readability -- what is more important in a translation? Most versions aim at a balance between the two, but whether one is translating the Bible or H.C.A., translations invariably tend more towards one than the other!
The Haugaard version reads extremely well. It runs very smoothly and is made to be read out loud. But experts have pointed out that at times, it tends to sacrifice accuracy to readability. Andersen's original Danish prose does not always run smoothly, and is sometimes choppy and deliberately awkward.
Andersen's original style is reflected better in the Jean Hersholt version, which does not read as well out loud, but tends to be more faithful to the original Danish. It is better suited for silent reading or study, often sacrificing readability for accuracy. (Also available on-line at the Hans Christian Andersen Centre Website, set up by the University of Southern Denmark)
In short, storytellers will prefer Haugaard for storytelling and reading out loud, while scholars will give prority to Hersholt for study purposes. But why not buy both?
C. S. Lewis, in his preface to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," observed that as children we grow out of hearing fairy tales, but as an adult we can come back to them with fresh eyes and be enchanted in a different way. HCA stories have that amphibian quality of living above and below the supposed age limits.
I find it surprising that HCA writing in a minor language would be so popular, but he is a genius at writing fairy tales. The Grimm Boys just collected and edited the German fairy tales, but HCA was generating new and original fairy tales. I hope we don't sluff off this unique talent he had solely on the ground that he was writing to children. After all, how many naked Emperors have we seen? The comic Dilbert gets it's life blood from the fact that so many emperors can be smooth-talked by so many charlatans, and be sustained in their delusion by smarmy sycophants, and only brought to light by a child.
If children can understand this, why can't we adults?
On the printing-side of the book, I would like to see this in a hardbound, with durable paper, and not the thin and fragile newsprint. I am almost afraid to read this book since the opaper is so delicate!
I was a little disappointed, however, by the lack of illustrations, even some small ones in the beginning of each story...
Overall, I am quite satisfied with it.
Great stories from a legend.
Only small complaint is the entire book is text only, we would have liked to see some illustrations or wonderful drawing to help with the imagination but book is very good still and we highly recommend for the family collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Folk Lore for the all ages! Excellent collection of his works...every child should be able to read the real stories not just the Disney versions.Published 27 days ago by G. Pounds
I enjoy getting a more complete picture of the famous Fairy Tale author. When you only read the famous stories, you get a one-dimensional picture. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sean Ross
There are many ways to read fairy tales, and what I saw from Andersen's tales are sex, power, desire.Published 2 months ago by AllenSomething
an excellent translation and edition of the complete fairy tales and stories.Published 5 months ago by ludvik bass
Some stories are just great for teaching a moral lesson, while others are just silly, which is why I reduced the review by one star. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Eve B.
Its just full of stories. I really enjoy reading them. There are a lot of stories that I have never heard before that would actually be really good to read to children becasue... Read morePublished 9 months ago by NicoleG
Varying stories, of alternating views on both popular and non main stream fairy tales. Some are interesting and entertaining, while others may be a little obtuse for some readers.Published 10 months ago by Brenda Frasca