Greetings, y'all! I've been on the road this week. Yesterday I spent five hours in the Baltimore airport, giving me plenty of time and then some to read the entire November/December issue of The Horn Book, the magazine devoted to children's literature. I enjoyed it, particularly Brian Alderson's article "H.C. Andersen: Edging toward the Unmapped Hinterland." (It's not available online.) Noting that Hans Christian Andersen was apparently "not too much preoccupied by illustration," Brian Alderson makes some forthright observations like the following:
The penchant that illustrators have for booking themselves ego-trips on the back of any passing classic tale is of long standing, and a proper judgment of their work hinges not on the aesthetics of the thing but on the adequacy of their response to the text that prompted it.
Alderson was a curator of a recent British Library exhibit devoted to HCA. In the Horn Book piece, he also talks about famous author's "uninhibited storytelling vernacular" (one that would seem right at home in the corner pub) and how hard it has been for translators to capture that colloquial quality of Andersen's work.