Andersen and the community of tellers

  • Cyrille Francois


With the publication of the Brothers Grimm’s “Kinder- und Hausmärchen”, folkloristics emerged as a new discipline, and a European community of tellers was born and was soon to become a global community. Readers and editors have considered, and still often consider, Hans Christian Andersen to be representative of this genre of tales, together with the Grimms and Perrault. But while Andersen could be seen to take his place in this folk tale trend with his first tale, “Dødningen,” published in 1830, he arguably remained an outsider in the community of tellers by using tales in a different manner in his literary work. Choosing to tell stories in his own voice rather than using the people’s voice, Andersen’s real interest was to be part of a literary community. This paper examines the question of community to better understand the specificity of Andersen’s tales, and shows how the author chose to take his own path rather than to follow the broader trend of 19th century tale-writers.

Francois, C. “Andersen and the Community of Tellers”. Aktualitet - Litteratur, Kultur Og Medier, Bd. 13, nr. 1, januar 2019, s. 134-47,