The Hans Christian Andersen Center

Dato: 22. oktober 1871
Fra: H.C. Andersen   Til: Horace E. Scudder
Sprog: dansk, engelsk.

Copenhagen, October 22, 1871.

Dear and excellent friend:

you will quite recently have received a letter from me, and with it the manuscript of a new fairy tale, "The Great Sea Serpent. I had not expected to write so soon again, except for an episode that took place today. Moreover, I am writing mainly on my own account, as I do not wish in any measure to appear before you in a false light, or that our friendship be darkened by any shadow.

This morning I had a visit from a man unknown to me, one Professor Care, teacher at one of the leading schools of Copenhagen. Re told me that after he had read the review in Dagbladet of the American edition of my [Collected] Writings and noted the pointing out of several misunderstandings in the translation, he had written to the publishers in New York to suggest that if a new edition of this work were planned for, and a copy [of the present edition] sent to him, he would make all the necessary corrections. Re had done this on his own initiative, because of his keen interest in the matter.

This I was quite willing to believe, but wished that he had come to me first to hear what I might have to say; it seemed to me almost fortuitous that he should tell me about now. Re told me that in the course of these days he had had a talk with my Danish bookdealer Reitzel and told him of his having written in this connection. Reitzel then asked him if I knew anything about it, and he had answered, "No!" Also if he knew Andersen, and he replied that we had known each other about twenty-eight years ago. I do not recall it! I then told him that I had written to you about it, that we were on most friendly terms with each other, and that you had always shown the most sympathetic interest in me and my work, that I had mentioned the Danish review to you, and had suggested having the misunderstandings corrected in a new edition, but that I did not find these as serious as in many other English translations of my writings. From these I cited to him a couple of other striking examples, which he admitted were more serious than those of yours that Dagbladet had complained about. I am writing you about all this a few hours after my conversation with Mr. Care, so that you might know how ignorant I have been, until today, of the whole matter.

I am convinced, in the meantime, that Mr. Care is a very honest man who has acted with the best of motives, but who should have consulted me, in which case I should gladly have accepted his offer to make the corrections, after I had heard from you concerning it. One of my able friends, with whom I have just spoken about this matter, said quite correctly that, after he had read Dagbladet, he thought to himself, "It must be a good translation, when the criticisms of it are not more serious." I am writing all this to prevent any misunderstanding between us, and you may say to our publishers, to whom I send most hearty greetings, that I have written to yon about this matter, and that I had no knowledge that communications had been sent them in this connection. Last evening I received notice from Hamburg that a new batch of the [Collected] Writings had been sent me by boat. As it is Sunday today, I have not been able to clear these. Accept my thanks in the meantime!

Your sincerely devoted

H. C. ANDERSEN

Tekst fra: Se tilknyttede bibliografiposter

Kjbenhavn den 22 October 1871

Kjre, fortrffelige Ven!

De vil for ganske nyligt have modtaget Brev fra mig og deri Manuskriptet til et nyt Eventyr Den store Sslange; Jeg havde ikke tnkt paa at skrive saasnart igjen, naar ikke et Tilflde i Dag var Skyld deri, og jeg skriver meest for min egen Skyld, da jeg ikke. paa nogen Maade vil komme i falsk Lys hos Dem, eller at der kastes Skygge ind i vort Venskab.

Imorges havde jeg Besg af een mig ubekjendt Herre Professor Care, Lrer ved een af Kjbenhavns frste Skoler. Han meddeelte mig at han, efter at have lst i Dagbladet en Anmeldelse af Mit Livs Historie i den amerikanske Udgave af mine Skrifter og seet flere Misforstaaelser i Oversttelsen udpeget, havde skrevet til de Herrer Forlggere i New York, at dersom en ny Udgave udkom af denne Bog, vilde han, dersom et Exemplar sendtes ham, gjre alle de ndvendige Rettelser. Han havde paa egen Haand gjordt dette af varm Interresse for Sagen.

Dette vil jeg gjerne troe, men jeg nskede at han havde henvendt sig til mig frst og hrt hvad jeg havde at sige; det synes mig nsten tilfldigt at han nu lader mig det vide. Han fortalte at han i disse Dage, ved en Samtale med min danske Boghandler Reitzel havde fortalt denne om sin Skrivelse i denne Sag. Reitzel spurgte da om jeg vidste noget derom og han havde svaret "Nei!" - om han da kjendte Andersen og han svarede at vi for omtrent 28 Aar siden havde kjendtes. Jeg erindrer det ikke! - Jeg sagde ham nu at jeg havde skrevet Dem til, at vi stode i smukt Venskabs Forhold til hinanden og at De altid havde viist mig og mine Arbeider varm Dee1tagelse, at jeg havde talt til Dem om den danske Anmldelse og om, i en ny Udgave, at faae Misforstaaelserne rettede, men at jeg ikke fandt disse saa betydelige, som i mange andre enge1ske Oversttelser af mine Skrifter, jeg anfrte for ham i disse et Par andre slaaende Exempler, som han indrmmede vare langt betydeligere end de Dagbladet havde anket over hos Dem. Alt dette skriver jeg Dem strax til, faae Timer efter min Samtale med Hr. Care, at De kan vide hvor uvidende jeg, indtil i Dag, har vret om det Hele. Jeg er imidlertid forvisset om at Hr Care er en srdeles brav Mand, der har handlet i bedste Hensigt, men burde have henvendt sig til mig og jeg vilde da med Glde have taget mod hans Tilbud at gjre Rettelserne, naar jeg frst havde Brev fra Dem herom. Een af mine dygtige Venner, som jeg i dette ieblik talte med om denne Sag, sagde meget rigtigt, at da han lste Dagbladet, tnkte han derved, "det maa vre en god Oversttelse, efterdi de Anker der sttes mod den ikke ere vrre!" - Jeg skriver alt dette for at vi ikke misforstaae hinanden og at De kan sige vore Forlggere hvem jeg paa det hjerteligste sender Hilsen, at jeg har skrevet til Dem i denne Sag og at jeg har vret aldeles uvidende til nu, om at der er sendte til Disse Skrivelse i denne Henseende.

Iaftes modtog jeg fra Hamburg Adresse-Brev om at en ny Samling af Skrifterne vare, per Dampskib, sendt mig, Da det i Dag er Sndag har jeg ikke kunnet inklarere disse.

Forelbig min Tak!

Deres hjerteligt hengivne

H. C. ANDERSEN

Tekst fra: Solveig Brunholm