пятница, 2 апреля 2010 г.

День рождения Ганса Христиана Андерсена

The Danish author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) enjoyed fame in his own lifetime as a novelist, dramatist, and poet, but his fairy tales are his great contribution to world literature.
Hans Christian Andersen was born on April 2, 1805, in Odense, Denmark. His father was a shoemaker and his mother a washerwoman, and he was the first Danish author to emerge from the lowest class. His father died when Hans was only eleven years old. Young Hans was wasting his time in school, daydreaming about the theatre and the stories he would imagine. His mother sent him to work in a tailor’s shop and later a tobacco factory to help support the family. Unhappy with these jobs, at the age of 14, Andersen convinced his mother to let him try his luck in Copenhagen rather than be apprenticed to a tailor. When she asked what he intended to do there, he replied, "I'II become famous! First you suffer cruelly, and then you become famous." He nearly starved to death trying to earn a living as an artist, actor, dancer and singer. Andersen befriended a theater director who helped him get a scholarship and return to school. Chancellor Jonas Collin, a director of the Royal Theater, noticed Andersen when he was 17. Collin had read one of Hans’ plays and saw that the young man had talent. Collin was able to obtain money from the king for Andersen's education. He sent him to a school near Copenhagen where his teacher treated him harshly and teased him about his desire to become a writer. Collin eventually took Hans out of the school and arranged private tutoring in Copenhagen. But Hans was an indifferent student and was unable to study systematically. He never learned to spell or to write the elegant Danish of the period. Thus his literary style remained close to the spoken language and is still fresh and living today, unlike that of most of his contemporaries. In 1828, at age 23, Andersen entered university in Copenhagen by writing his first prose narrative. This, his first success, was quickly followed by a vaudeville and a collection of poems. Andersen's career as an author was begun, and his years of suffering were at an end. Andersen began to be published in Denmark in 1829. In 1833 the king gave him travel money and he spent 16 months travelling through Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy. There he became friends with prominent Europeans, among them the English novelist Charles Dickens. As Andersen travelled he wrote many books about his experiences. Andersen wrote plays, novels, poems and travel books. Hans Christian Andersen considered himself ugly all his life. He was tall and thin with a long nose. It was this self-view that inspired “The Ugly Duckling”. Andersen proposed to several women during his life and was rejected by all of them. In spite of his lonely life he was able to create some of the most wonderful stories ever written. Andersen died on August 4, 1875.

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