Andersen's Fairy Tales
Foreignness and "The Other" Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
The windows were open so that fresh air might enter; but even quicker than the air were the mutilated arms of the beggars and the sound of their whimpering… The walls were decorated with inscriptions, and half of them had nothing pleasant to say about bella Italia. (The Magic Galoshes.186)
This poor guy wishes upon the magic galoshes that he can travel to Italy, but only misery awaits him there. Beggars are constantly asking for money, the food is terrible, and there are mosquitos everywhere. Sometimes, there's no place like home!
"In Africa, Mother," began the south wind, crestfallen. "I have been hunting lions with the Hottentots in the land of the Kaffirs…There I met a caravan; they had just slaughtered the last of their camels, to get a little to drink…You should have see the face of the merchant; he pulled his caftan over his head to protect himself and then threw himself down in front of me, as if I were Allah, his God." (The Garden of Eden.37)
Because clearly this African merchant knows so little that he'd confuse the wind with God. Er, right. Andersen sure paints a fanciful picture of Africa, but we doubt it's very accurate.
The emperor thought that they, too, should hear the bird. They did and they were as delighted as if they had gotten drunk on too much tea. It was all very Chinese. They pointed with their licking fingers toward heaven, nodded, and said: "Oh!" (The Nightingale.47)
Where to start with this one? First, how do you get drunk on tea, and why haven't we heard about this before? Does China have a monopoly on alcoholic teas? Oh, and which "Chinese" are we talking about, of the multiple ethnic groups and language groups and religious groups that make up China? Finally, what is a "licking finger"? Or do we not want to know?