List of abstracts for the IV International HCA conference - Hans Christian Andersen between children's literature and adult literature
Disharmony and temporal categories in Søren Kierkegaard and H. C. Andersen
The period of the golden age, what we in literary terms call romanticism, encompasses many different ideas, so making unambiguous claims about it is not easy. However, I believe that the romantic authors share a search for inward harmony. In other words, many of the authors in the golden age of Copenhagen, were concerned with the concept of the harmonious man. It is a theme, which we recognize both among the German and the Danish romantic writers.
In this paper, I will focus on two texts, where Søren Kierkegaard and H.C. Andersen from related negative perspectives explore the concept of the harmonious man. As text corpus, I have chosen Kierkegaard´s speech The Unhappiest One from Either-Or, written in 1843, and Andersen´s fairy tale The Fir Tree from 1844. Using these texts, I will investigate how the authors deal with the dualism inherent in the romantic view and the possibility of redemption. As we shall see, this idea of a harmonious or redeemed man is closely connected to temporal categories in both Kierkegaard and Andersen.