Monday, April 05, 2010

Tweeting the Tales: Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen created some of the most enduring characters and stories ever written. In honor of his birthday, I am now going to trivialize his monumental achievement by retelling his most famous tales as tweets...


The Little Mermaid: Young mermaid gives up everything to be with man she loves. Dies after he marries less fishy-smelling bride.

The Snow Queen: Young girl embarks on epic quest through winter and woods to save annoying boy. Also, cool ice castle.

The Ugly Duckling: Swan suffering from case of mistaken identity learns that it's more important to be pretty than loved.

The Little Matchgirl: Poor girl freezes to death, but it's okay.

The Emperor's New Clothes: Nude emperor; observant child; rich tailors.

Thumbelina: Small girl is propositioned by inappropriate animals.

The Nightingale: Live birds are better than mechanical birds.

The Tinderbox: Dogs with really huge eyes are cool. (And other stuff happens, but really, their eyes are HUGE.)

The Wild Swans: Girl saves 11 brothers by sewing. Yay for Home Ec!

The Steadfast Tin Soldier: Angst-ridden toys have doomed romances.

The Princess and the Pea: Prince considers fussiness to be reasonable litmus test for suitability to wield supreme executive power.

Happy (belated) birthday, Hans!

If you'd like to read these tales in full, as well as others by Andersen, I recommend the beautiful and fascinating Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, edited by Maria Tatar.

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At 10:37 PM, Blogger Q said...

My favorites: "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Match-Girl." Astute 140-character observations!

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Meagan said...

These were great, thanks for the laugh!

At 12:16 AM, Blogger Elizabeth Amy Hajek said...

Oh how funny! I always enjoy your humor so much! :)

At 9:07 AM, Blogger heather jeanne said...

Love this!

At 9:29 AM, Blogger storyqueen said...

Little Match Girl, Thumbelina and Steadffast Tin Soldier were too funny.

And now I'm tearing up, thinking about the match girl....and now I'm feeling bad I was laughing at it a minute ago....

Seriously, is that the saddest story ever written or what?


At 9:40 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Q: I always had issues with the message of the Ugly Duckling. I mean, it's not like he learns to love his ugliness... Total opposite of Beauty and the Beast.

Meagan, Elentatintil, and Heather Jeanne: Thanks! Glad you liked it!

Storyqueen: Little Match Girl is tremendously sad. I remember a beautiful picture book that totally traumatized me when I read it as a kid...

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Victoria Janssen said...


At 11:43 AM, Blogger Erin said...

So funny and great. You rock.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Enna Isilee said...

If I wasn't in class, I'd be laughing out loud maniacally! Those are so great!

At 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Snow Queen: Young girl embarks on epic quest through winter and woods to save annoying boy. Also, cool ice castle.

What, no little robber girl? :(

At 9:16 AM, Blogger PaulaAlicia said...

Lol - Because of your books I am terrified of the wild swans tale which I had never heard of before into the wild.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Vickie: Glad you liked it. :)

Erin: Thanks!!

Enna Isilee: Always a good idea to avoid laughing maniacally in public.

Djiril: I do love the robber girl. She's a great character. Much cooler than grumpy boy.

PaulaAlicia: In the Andersen version of the swan tale, she knits the shirts out of nettles. Ouch.

At 2:05 AM, Blogger Beverley BevenFlorez said...

I love it! Thanks for the post. :)


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