miércoles, 8 de enero de 2014


Exactly what it says on the tin. A short review on foreign-language speakers in Andersen's fantasy production. I wrote this analysis a couple of years ago:

*Court ladies in “The Swineherd” are francophone:
'Superbe! charmant!' exclaimed the ladies; for they all used to chatter French, each one worse than her neighbour.
*The princess in The Snow Queen (Fourth Story) and presumably her fiancé:
In the kingdom wherein we are now sitting, there dwells a princess, a most uncommonly clever princess. All the newspapers in the world has she read, and forgotten them again, so clever is she.
*An owl in a telephone game story (The francophone male owl to his mate, after she has told
him a story that might be unsuitable for the owlets):
"Prenez garde aux enfants!" said father owl; "children should not hear such things”.
*Medieval clergyman to Victorian time traveller, in “Shoes of Fortune”
"Modestia is a great virtue," said the stranger; "moreover, I may add to your speech, mihi secus videtur; though, in this case, I willingly suspend my judicium."
"I am a Baccalaureus Scripturæ Sacræ."
"This is no locus docendi," observed the stranger; "yet, I wish you would favour us with your conversation.
They stared at each other, and when they could not get on at all, the baccalaureus spoke
Latin, in hopes of being better understood; but it was of no use.

Long story short: in his fairy tales, Andersen uses multilinguism as a mark of power and erudition, to connotate the cultural level that comes with a certain social status.

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