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A Welcome To The Snow Queen

A Welcome To The Snow Queen

This article from 2002 welcomes the Snow Queen to the then story section at Sidereus and has some interesting reflections on the importance of story, story telling and especially fairy tales.

I am particularly pleased to announce the opening of a new Topic section for The Sidereus Foundation - the Fairy Tale & Story library. Whether you might be a student of metaphor, of language, of Project Sanctuary, of symbolism, of magic or simply someone who remembers reading these stories when they were young and impressionable, Fairy Tales are a very important cultural and neurological device. The first story for the library is one of my all time favourites, Hans Christian Andersen's timeless warning of the seductive dangers of logic without the heart - The Snow Queen.

I wondered often why the Snow Queen was never converted into a full scale movie or Disney type animation - perhaps it is just a little too dark, a little too true, a little too dangerous? It is one of Andersen's longest stories and I for one remember it well; reading it again now gives me much more appreciation for his turn of phrase when he lets go and really "tells the story" - the pictures and sensations in his mind.

This is one of my very favourite parts:


The walls of the palace were of driving snow, and the windows and doors of cutting winds. There were more than a hundred halls there, according as the snow was driven by the winds. The largest was many miles in extent; all were lighted up by the powerful Aurora Borealis, and all were so large, so empty, so icy cold, and so resplendent!

Mirth never reigned there; there was never even a little bear-ball, with the storm for music, while the polar bears went on their hindlegs and showed off their steps.

Never a little tea-party of white young lady foxes; vast, cold, and empty were the halls of the Snow Queen.

The northern-lights shone with such precision that one could tell exactly when they were at their highest or lowest degree of brightness.

In the middle of the empty, endless hall of snow, was a frozen lake; it was cracked in a thousand pieces, but each piece was so like the other, that it seemed the work of a cunning artificer. In the middle of this lake sat the Snow Queen when she was at home; and then she said she was sitting in the Mirror of Understanding, and that this was the only one and the best thing in the world.

Little Kay was quite blue, yes nearly black with cold; but he did not observe it, for she had kissed away all feeling of cold from his body, and his heart was a lump of ice.

He was dragging along some pointed flat pieces of ice, which he laid together in all possible ways, for he wanted to make something with them; just as we have little flat pieces of wood to make geometrical figures with, called the Chinese Puzzle. Kay made all sorts of figures, the most complicated, for it was an ice-puzzle for the understanding. In his eyes the figures were extraordinarily beautiful, and of the utmost importance; for the bit of glass which was in his eye caused this.

He found whole figures which represented a written word; but he never could manage to represent just the word he wanted--that word was "eternity"; and the Snow Queen had said, "If you can discover that figure, you shall be your own master, and I will make you a present of the whole world and a pair of new skates."

But he could not find it out.

Excerpt from The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen


Now it is an amazing thing that Andersen had never really met one of today's computer programmers and it is a sad thing that they might never think to read this story.

It is indeed a sad thing that the stories sections are the least popular on this website, and information is priced much more highly and rewarded with three times the clicks, three times the attention.

Yet, there is a kind of stimulation here, a kind of energy and types of learnings that we need a great deal more than the dry statisticians would ever have you know.

I respect stories and fellow story tellers immensely and I am very, very pleased that these stories will have a home here on my 21st century state of the art internet portal.

To those who feel like I do, and who will enjoy the stories too, a very special welcome - you are a person I would talk to at a party. Click Here to find The Snow Queen in full, and check back regularly as we add more fairy tales to the collection.

Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen and other Fairy Tales found here now.

Posted Dec 30, 2002 Read Article...
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