Hans Christian Andersen: Tales and Stories for All Ages

Hans Christian Andersen: Tales and Stories for All Ages, told by Eric S. Rosen. Toronto: Eric S. Rosen Publishing,. 1993. ISBN 0-9692017-4-5, paper, 108 pp., $10

Rosen says that this is a new translation of Andersen's stories, yet describes the stories as updated, localized, and cruelty-free, which indicates that they are retellings, rather than translations.

I compared these retellings to the stories in my collection, translated by Eric Christian Haugaard. In some parts, the language was very close. In others it lacked clarity and richness. In The Tinderbox,for instance, Rosen says, “She was ugly, Just like the witches in fairy tales." Haugaard's translation reads, “She was a disgusting sight, with a lower lip that hung all the way down to her chest." What bothered me more than the language, though, was what happened to the stories as Rosen removed those sections which he considered cruel or violent. In The Little Toad, and The Butterf1y, for instance, I fear that Andersen's messages were sacrificed in order to save the lives of the title characters. Any translation, or retelling, should honour the integrity and the spirit of the original. However well-intentionned, Rosen did not always succeed. Closer proofreading would have caught a couple of grammatical errors, and also the typos which resulted in a soldier carrying a sable, rather than a sabre, throughout one story.

Order from Eric S. Rosen Publishing, 35 Bradham Path, Suite 205, Etobicoke, Ontario M8V 329 416 253-4482

The Second Story Review, Vol 3, No. 2, June 1998
Mot de passe oublié?