• Andersen’s Scissors: Cutting his own shape

      McCrory, Moy; University of Derby (National Association of Writers in Education, 2019)
      Hans Christian Andersen worked in a variety of written forms beyond children’s stories and also as a visual artist, sketching for his diaries, travel writing and journals. If he wrote in the anonymous tradition of fairy tales Andersen’s work for children is full of individual responses. “The Little Mermaid” while strong on folk motifs is also about personal yearning and we can read here the shift he made in his lifetime between social classes, as if from one element to another. Although better known as a writer, an examination of some of his lesser known visual work, namely a surprising range of paper cut outs, shows recognisable figures and key images cut into this form which he used in performance as a storyteller. A study of these images which do not always figure in his writings, suggest that other meanings and disguises were adopted by the author. If in writing he chose to work in fabulation where a lack of reality allowed him to disguise himself inside the heart of a story, did the paper cut outs with their repeated motifs extend the possibilities for disguise and allow him to hide in plain sight.