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The motif Hymn book, hymnal in HCA : The Elder-Tree Mother (1844)
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The Hans Christian Andersen Center

The motif Hymn book, hymnal in HCA : The Elder-Tree Mother (1844)

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See also Hymn, psalm

Example 1:

"Yes, that's the way it is," said the little girl in the tree. "Some people call me Elder Tree Mother, and some call me the Dryad, but my real name is Memory. It is I who sit up in the tree that grows on and on, and I can remember and I can tell stories. Let me see if you still have your flower."

Then the old man opened his hymnal, and there lay the elder blossom, as fresh as if it had just been placed there. Then Memory nodded, and the two old people with the golden crowns sat in the red twilight, and they closed their eyes gently and - and - and that was the end of the story....

Comment on this quote: The concept of memory is especially notable here. The fairy tale in real life or the fairy tale of life is life in retrospect, memory's composition of life's moments in a tale – a fairy tale about life itself, lived life. The old people's flower in the hymnal is a recurring motif in Andersen's tales.

Example 2:

(...) when they departed, the little girl took and elder blossom from her breast and gave it to him as a keepsake. He laid it away in his hymnal (...)

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