HCA NEWS Rejse i blåt - a novel on Andersen

Danish author Stig Dalager offers a personal interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen in his new novel, Rejse i Blåt.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 04 November 2004

Hans Christian Andersen should not to be regarded as a naive, frivolous, or in any way pathetic figure simply telling innocent fairytales to peachy little children. On the contrary, he was an innovative and modern artist more aptly described as a cosmopolitan rolling stone who adopted an international outlook despite the parochial nationalism of his day.

In his novel, Rejse i blåt, Danish author Stig Dalager revises the common frivolous image of Hans Christian Andersen and paints a portrait of a self-conscious man confronting his small-town upbringing and the narrow-minded bourgeoisie of Copenhagen.

"Hans Christian Andersen was not a very happy person. To him writing was a way of redeeming the pain and unease that haunted him. I have not had an ideological agenda in my description of Andersen but have reacted to a desire to reach deeper into the man an artist Hans Christian Andersen. And here I have found an artistic soul I would compare with that of Picasso or Asger Jorn, who both hailed self-conscious playfulness, childishness and naivety as part of a an artistic approach," Stig Dalager states to local daily Århus Stiftstidende.

He adds that his novel is not an attempt at a biographical genre but rather as an existential portrayal that dares meet Andersen eye-to-eye in artistic, literary dialogue.

"We should draw lessons from his strong sides which are reflected in his ability to connect parochial life in Denmark with the wider world around him. This is the Andersen we can all learn from when we pay homage to him next year," says Stig Dalager.

Even before the Danish version was published by the People's Press, Rejse i blåt has already been sold to international publishing houses to be published in several other countries.