Rendition of “Journey in Blue” tribute to Hans Christian Andersen: Persian translator

February 28, 2021 - 19:11

TEHRAN – Shaqayeq Qandehari has said that her Persian translation of Stig Dalager’s “Journey in Blue: A Novel about Hans Christian Andersen” is a tribute to the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, “a hard-working man who had a wonderful life.”

“I am sure all of us have read the stories of this writer during childhood,” she told the Persian service of Honaronline on Sunday.

She said that the story of “Journey in Blue” begins at the time Andersen is on his deathbed, taking morphine.

“One good thing about the book is that the different points about life, fate, mood and spirits of the writer are narrated, the points which we may not have known beforehand, and help the story go on better,” she noted. 

“I worked on it for a year.” Qandehari said and added, “Critics believe the book’s author, who is Danish himself, has been able to describe the life of Andersen differently.”

In Italy, Germany and France, Andersen gained recognition and was greatly praised, while in his homeland Denmark, he encountered harsh criticism, breaking his heart,” she explained.

Andersen is a master of the literary fairytale whose stories achieved wide renown. He is also the author of plays, novels, poems, travel books and several autobiographies. 

While many of those works are almost unknown outside Denmark, his fairytales are among the most frequently translated works in all of literary history.

“Journey in Blue” narrates Andersen on his deathbed. Doses of morphine cause his brain to oscillate between dreamy states and fleeting moments of clarity. The complex and elastic mind that drives his personality and his work wrestles with his own perceived fate as a stranger in the world, his longing for love, and his religiosity.

To believe in his own talent to the extent that Andersen has done and to have lived so one-dimensionally has left him socially deficient and isolated. There is also torment, although internationally renowned, he was rejected in his own country until late in his life when a leading Danish literary critic discovered his fairytales and confirmed their importance to his fellow countrymen. 

As Andersen’s death approaches, his memories grow more vivid and material, yet at the same time fairytale-like. In this remarkable novel, Dalager takes the reader on a journey through the mind, body, spirit and works of one of the truly great names in world literature.

Photo: A statue in Central Park, New York commemorating Hans Christian Andersen and “The Ugly Duckling”.

RM/MMS/YAW
 

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