List of abstracts for the IV International HCA conference - Hans Christian Andersen between children's literature and adult literature
HCA was no hypochondriac: he was ill
In my paper I will enlist all the illnesses, including hypochondria, that Andersen himself or others thought he might have suffered from. I will also try and find a pattern in the various complaints he had troughout his lifetime, as well as a pattern in the witness reports of the fysical impressions he made on people.
Medical diagnosis is of course a field of medical science, but it has certain features in common with literary studies, especially when the diagnosis is based on texts only, as is inevitable when the patient is long dead. In such a case the symptoms have changed into texts and might be interpreted as texts. In my paper I will try to show what disease Hans Christian Andersen suffered from throughout his life, a diagnosis and that will show the reality behind his complaints.