Monday, January 30, 2012

The Little Mermaid: A Collection

My husband and I are collectors of sorts. We get an idea about something in our heads and we must research, read, view every bit of it until we've devoured it from all angles. As a couple, I know it started with Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, pooling our collections together, we have several different versions of the movie; the Disney version being a must. We've watched the Syfy Alice and actually spent a Saturday looking through Netflix for strange versions, and new versions and a classic from my childhood. We read parts of the book aloud to the kiddo and I've read the novel Alice I Have Been, a kind of closer to the whole adventure. I don't know what his first collection was or how it began (I'll have to ask him once I get done typing this), but I can tell you mine started with the story of "The Little Mermaid" by Hans Christian Andersen.

I enjoy how the story is incorporated in the lovely Danny Kaye movie, Hans Christian Andersen, a slightly inaccurate retelling of Andersen's life through song. It was from this movie that I realized that maybe the ending wasn't as tragically beautiful as I may have thought, as Andersen wrote the ballet for a beautiful dancer who did not return his love and affection. I remember the scene in the movie. As she is dancing, he is trapped in a closet, nobody can hear his pleas to get out.

Of course, my favorite is Disney's The Little Mermaid. It came out when I was just the right age to appreciate it as a wonderful cartoon with excellent songs that I can still sing on command, a wonderful cast of actors, with great Disney artistry and as the dawn of a new era in not only Disney, but in cinema worldwide. Here's an excellent review of it.

The internet has made collecting variations of the story easy, as different versions can be found just by typing the title and author into any search engine. Here are a couple:

A translation from Erik Christian Hauggard for Doubleday
A translation from H. P. Paull

In reading mermaid books for my MerBooks Reading Challenge, I felt it was important to start with the first. I found a translation that I had not read before and downloaded it on my Nook. It, like all other translations, varies slightly while still maintaining the original intent of the story and I am glad that I read it, as that's one more for the collection. Here's to finding more interpretations as I delve into this 10 book challenge.

While I am counting this for the Mermaid Book Challenge, I'm not counting it as one of my 55 books, because really...even if I read all the translations out there I will still feel like I'm cheating--it's such a short story.

1 comment:

  1. I do this! I sort of get into obsessive moods and want to see all the variations of a story. It's not something I normally talk about because it seems to bore a lot of people but I've probably seen ever Cinderella movie, and I always read the stories I find (there are a never ending number of Cinderella stories)



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