The Hans Christian Andersen Center

Dato: 11. oktober 1871
Fra: H.C. Andersen   Til: Horace E. Scudder
Sprog: dansk, engelsk.

Copenhagen, October 11, 1871.

Dear and noble friend:

My heartfelt thanks for your last friendly letter and the accompanying drafts for my honorarium for the Writings. I have already cashed them. It was a great pleasure to me after so long an interval to hear from you again. Summer has meantime flown by, I am once more settled in the city for the winter, and, it appears, refreshed and again in a mood to work. I thank you so much for the care you have exercised with my writings, and appreciate full well how difficult I am to translate into a foreign tongue, even into English, which in both vocabulary and construction is so closely related and similar to the Danish. Y our decision, therefore, not to prepare a translation of my Poems, meets with my complete approval, as these, by appearing in this fashion could not hold their own. I read a criticism that appeared in an American paper, I think it was of my book, In Spain,- that my prose was very poetical; I should keep to it and not write verse, in which I was less successful. This criticism could hardly be applied to my Danish poems; and hence my thanks for this renewed evidence of true concern for my reputation as an author, in omitting the translation of the Poems. But why is the novel To Be or Not to Be left out of the collection? In a land where Emerson's writings are read and printed in neweditions, the inner conflict which I have tried to present could hardly give offense, especially when the entire basic idea is religious and is dissolved in the clear light of faith. Y ou have presumably an important reason for putting this story aside. The description of "Skagen" and "Silkeborg" are included among the travel sketches?

The Story of My Life, [that is,] the continuation which is available to Americans but not to my Danish readers, is now being read here in this country and the translation has been criticised in one of our foremost papers. I know from the many foreign translations the difficulty of reproducing my thought, how peculiar my style of writing is, and why I am therefore often misunderstood. The Danish reviewer notes that altogether too many names of persons and places are written wrongly. Thus among several errors listed is that of Heiberg's vaudeville, The April Fools (Aprilsnarrene), which in Danish means "Those who are fooled on April first," - a Danish custom, - which title is rendered as April Snares, a different concept entirely. Concerning Ingemann and his wife, "De Gamle ved Skovsoen," is translated as "The Old People by the Forest Lake," etc., etc. The reviewer closes by remarking that as he presumes a new edition will soon come out in America, he hopes that a careful revision of the text will then be made. I shall gladly give such information as I can, and it would be very nice if you could get my countryman, Mr. L. Bagger, from whom you sent a greeting to me, to help us.

Thank you for your photograph! I am very glad to have now a clear idea of what you look like. I see all of the intelligent and exceedingly kind expression that I had imagined.

Our letters seem to have crossed. First I sent you from Norway a Norwegian paper which told you of the festivities for me up there, and gave all of Jrgen Moe's beautiful speech. Later, as soon as I had returned here to Denmark, I sent you a letter which by now I hope you have received. At the same time, I gave the editor, Robert Watt, a letter of recommendation for you. I do not know if that has reached you? After my return home enlivened and refreshed, I have felt myself once again in the mood for new creative writing, and have written, particularly for my American readers to whom I am sending it first, a new story, "The Great Sea Serpent." You will receive it in this letter, and I ask you to have it printed in the monthly magazine as soon as it can be done, but without breaking it up. It must appear in its entirety in the same issue, preferably in the December number, as it will then come out first in America; or at least at the same time as the Danish, which I have promised the publisher of the Illustrated Times, but not until December. Give your family and my esteemed publishers my most hearty greetings. To yourself I may say that after my return from Norway, I have had an honor and a pleasure bestowed upon me, in that his Majesty, the King of Sweden and Norway, has decorated me with the Commander's Cross of the Order of St. Olaf. I have had much pleasure in my latter years, and often-indeed always I must ask why my good Lord is so immeasurably good to me in particular.

And now goodbye! Thank you for your faithful cooperation

your devoted

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

Tekst fra: Se tilknyttede bibliografiposter

Kjbenhavn den 11 October 1871

Kjre dle Ven!

Hjertelig .Tak for Deres seneste, venlige Skrivelse og de medfulgte Penge-Anvisninger af mit Honorar for Skrifterne; jeg har allerede .indlst samme. Det var mig en stor Glde igjen, efter lang Hvile, at hre fra Dem; Sommeren er imidlertid flyvet hen, jeg er igjen vinterligt indrettet her i Byen og som det synes forfrisket og atter i Stemning til at arbeide.Jeg takker Dem meget for den Omhu De viser mine Skrifter og. indseer fuldkommen hvor vanskelig jeg er at gjengive i et fremmet Sprog, selv i Engelsk, der dog i Ord og Construction er det Danske saa beslgtet og liigt; jeg billiger derfor aldeles Deres Bestemmelse, at De ikke vil levere nogen Oversttelseaf mine "Digte", da disse ved saaledes at fremtrde ikke kunne hvde deres Plads. Jeg har lst i en Kritik der stod i et amerikansk Blad, Jeg troer det var over min Bog: I Spanien, at min Prosa .var meget poetisk, jeg skulde holde mig til den og ikke skrive Vers hvori jeg er mindre heldig. Denne Bebreidelse vil neppe kunde anvendes paa mine danske Poesier; og derfor Tak for dette fornyede Tegn paa sand Omhu for mit Digternavn at Oversttelse af "Digtene" udelades. Men hvorfor er Romanen: At vre eller ikke vre udeladt i Samlingen? I et Land hvor Emmersons Skrifter lses og paa ny oplgges, kan vel ikke den Sjlekamp jeg har villet give vkke Forargelse, isr da hele Grundtanken er religis og oplser sig i Troens Klarhed. Dog De har tilvisse en betydende Grund for at skyde denne Fortlling tilside. Skildringen af Skagen og Silkeborg, kommer jo mellem Reiseskizzer? Mit Livs Eventyr, den Fortsttelse Americanerne have faaet og endnu ikke mine danske Lsere, bliver nu lst her hjemme og i eet af vore frste Blade har Oversttelsen vret underkastet Kritik. Jeg veed fra de mange fremmede Oversttelser hvor vanskelig jeg er at gjengive, hvor eiendommeligt mit Skrive-Sprog er og hvorledes jeg da ddt bliver misforstaaet. Den danske Anmlder gjr opmrksom paa, at altfor mange Navne paa Personer og Steder ere skrevne forkeert, der anfres saaledes mellem flere Feil at Heibergs Vaudeville Aprilsnarrene, (der paa Dansk betyder: De som den frste April ere blevne narrede, en dansk Skik) er oversat ved April-Snares, der giver et ganske andet Begreb. Om Ingemann og hans Frue hedder det: The old People by the Forest Lake: De gamle ved Skovsen, &&. Anmlderen slutter med at da han antager at der snart vil komme en ny Udgave i America, at der da maa foretages en omhyggelig Revision af Texten. Jeg skal med Glde give de Oplysninger jeg . kan og det var deiligt om De kunde faae min Landsmand Hr. L. Bagger , fra hvem De sendte mig en Hilsen; til at hjlpe os. De misforstaaer ikke min aabne; venskabelige Udtalelse. Tak for Deres Portrtkort! jeg er meget. glad ved nu at have ,et tydeligt Begreb om Deres Udseende, jeg seer hele det kloge, hjertensgode Udtryk jeg tnkte mig. Vore Breve have vist krydset hinanden; jeg sendte frst fra Norge en norsk Avis der meddeelte Dem om Festlighederne for mig deroppe og hele Digteren, Jrgen Moes smukke Fest-Tale; senere, saasnart jeg kom her ned til Danmark, sendte jeg Dem Brev, det jeg nu ogsaa haaber at De har modtaget. Samtidigt gav jeg Redacteur Robert Watt en Anbefalings Skrivelse med til Dem, jeg veed ikke om den er: naaet til Dem? Efter min Hjemkomst, oplivet og forfrisket har jeg igjen flt mig i Stemning til ny Digtning og skrevet, srligt for mine amerikanske Lsere, til hvem jeg herved frst sender det, et nyt Eventyr Den store Sslange, De erho1der det her i Brevet og jeg beder Dem at det saa snart det skee kan, maa blive trykt og optaget i Maanedskriftet, men uden Afbrydelse, det maa staae i sin Heelhed i det samme Nummer, helst i December-Heftet, thi saa kommer det frst ud i America, eller i det mindste jevnsidigt med det danske, hvilket jeg har lovet til Udgiveren af illustreret Tidende, men ikke fr i December.

Bring Deres Familie og mine rede Forlggere min hjertelige Hilsen. Dem selv kan jeg meddele at jeg efter min Hjenikomst fra Norge har nydt en re og Glde, idet Hans Majestt Kongen af Sverrig og Norge har, decoreret mig med St. Olafs-Ordenens Cominandeur Kors. Jeg har megen Glde i mine ldre Aar og tidt, ja altid, maa jeg sprge hvorfor mon Vorherre dog er just mig saa uendelig god.

Nu lev vel! Tak for Deres trofaste Deeltagelse

Deres hengivne

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

Til Horaee E. Scudder Esq.

Tekst fra: Solveig Brunholm