Saturday, August 23, 2014
On "A Story from the Sand Dunes" by Hans Christian Andersen (13,455 words) ***
One tragedy after another comes in this story by Andersen, which largely avoids the elements of fairy tale. It regards a young child of nobility whose ship is torn apart before he can remember and who ends up growing up in a small fishing village, adopted by parents who lost their child in another tragedy. The boy is God's miraculous replacement (never mind that all the other shipgoers died). The boy grows to be a man and makes good friends with one particular other young male in the village. They fall for the same girl. The boy saves up to buy a house, and the gal agrees to marry the boy because she knows she'll be better off with him, even though she actually loves the boy's friend. The boy chooses to hand over his house to his friend, as well as the girl, and leaves the village to travel the world. Only . . . there's a murder, and the boy ends up in prison. And then later, he ends up in another town, where he meets a lovely woman, who again is taken away from him by the sea. In addition, his mind is taken too. And so this dreadfully depressing story comes to an end . . . almost. Andersen was apparently very religious, and the hope of eternal life often ends up playing a role in his stories, and it's no exception with this tale. Read the full story here.