Andersen's Fairy Tales
by Andersen, Hans Christian
Andersen's Fairy Tales Art and Culture Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Tale Title.Paragraph)
Humanity! Can you understand the bliss in such a moment, when your spirit, your art, knows its mission? The moment when all the pain endured along the thorny path—even that self-inflicted—becomes knowledge, truth, power, clearness, and health? (The Thorny Path.23)
If you dedicate your life to pursue art or knowledge, you may be in for a world of pain. Think of that relative that's always telling you to "quit doodling" and "do something useful!" Still, you've gotta do what's in your heart.
But all too often he saw ugliness receive the praise that should have been given to beauty. The good was hardly noticed, while mediocrity was applauded instead of being criticized. (The Philosopher's Stone.18)
Clearly Andersen's not bitter about this issue or anything. While he was trying to establish himself in the art world, he, too, faced criticism for art that he poured his soul into. Clearly, we're reading his stuff now, though, so maybe the lesson here is: don't give up!
"What about something to eat? Is there anything more important than eating? A dead musician more or less doesn't matter. There are plenty more where he came from." (In the Duckyard.54)
The dead musician in this quote is actually a songbird, which a duck had killed in this story, but it's the same idea: there are a lot of wannabe artists out there who never make much of themselves. But a life without any music would be pretty miserable, we're guessing. How else could you possibly annoy your siblings on long road trips? That license plate game gets real old, real fast.