viernes, 8 de abril de 2016



Andersen's original has "en mandsdragt" to describe the riding suit. The Swedish translation at my grandmother's has "en karladräkt," while the majority of Spanish translations in my Andersen collection opt for "un traje de hombre" (one has "traje de caballero", while another has "pantalons"). The official German translation has "eine Knabentracht." Definitely, the seventh and youngest of the mermaid princess bunch surpasses even the third sister in birth order (described as "the boldest of them all," she was the only one who dared to swim a river upstream, into freshwater and deeper into land, during her baptism of air upon turning 16, than any of her sisters) when it comes to tomboyishness, once the seventh mermaid sister is on terra firma. Riding on horseback straddling the horse and wearing trousers, just like Queen Christina!
Maria Tatar's translation has "a page's costume," and she provides the following annotation:
47. The prince had a page's costume made for her. Critics who bemoan the self-effacing nature of the mermaid often neglect to note that she is also more adventurous, spirited, and curious than most fairy-tale heroines. Cross-dressing is a sign of willingness to cross boundaries and to take risks in order to see the world.
While the FutureLearn course, which has "a man's costume" in the John Irons translation, states the following:
"He brings her home and is not insensible to her beauty. He does notice that her eyes are eloquent, but [···] then he has a man’s costume sewn for her [···]  We might say that in (the second of) three different ways he tries to protect himself from her. The prince loves a girl who looks like her, (but who is sworn to chastity)."
Definitely, as a feminist, I rather agree with Maria Tatar.

On the third mermaid sister's baptism of air, Maria Tatar writes:
20. beautiful green hills covered with grapevines. Andersen's landscapes are filled with vivid sights, sounds, and aromas. The third sister sees nature's beauty and also discovers how humans have entered it to cultivate it (with grapevines), build residences (castles and manors), and produce children. The mutual animosity (based on fear driven by lack of familiarity) between the two worlds becomes evident when the mermaid terrifies the children.

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