• Journey In Blue

An acclaimed fictional recreation of the life and works of the fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen by one of Scandinavia's finest contemporary writers.

Hans Christian Andersen is on his deathbed. Doses of morphine cause his brain to oscillate between dreamy states and fleeting moments of clarity. The complex and elastic mind that drives his personality and his work wrestles with his own perceived fate as a stranger in the world, his longing for love and his religiosity. In Journey in Blue, Stig Dalager takes the reader on a journey through the mind, body, spirit and works of one of the truly great names in world literature.

Translated from the Danish by
‘”It is from Denmark that all the cold blasts come that turn me to stone! They spit on me, trample me in the dust!” These words, from a letter Hans Christian Andersen wrote to his friend Jette Wulff, are integral to the portrait of the great writer that Stig Dalager attempts in this novel. At the time, Andersen was in Paris hobnobbing with Hugo, Lamartine, Heine; all treated him as a genius. Balzac granted an audience and showered him with compliments. Meanwhile, in Denmark, journalists were ridiculing him, mocking his vanity on and off the page, sneering at his social ascent . . . What gives Dalager’s novel its real distinction is its picture of a lifelong apartness, with acceptance and love as unrealisable goals. The situation of the old man is foreshadowed many times in the life. Andersen never ceased to be, and to feel, the vulnerable outsider, and Dalager’s accounts of his compulsive travelling have power. As Auden said about another great traveller and giver of delight, Edward Lear: through his wanderings the writer himself “became a land”.’ – Independent
‘Stig Dalager’s fictional biography of Hans Christian Andersen finds the writer at the end of his life, recollecting his past in impressionistic, morphine-influenced episodes. Of the many books published in Andersen’s bicentenary this one comes nearest to explaining to non-Danes the troubled reverence in which the master storyteller is held by his compatriots.’ – London Review of Books
‘Dalager’s empathy with his subject is fervent and he is a skilled writer, having accrued a distinguished reputation in Europe with five novels and a number of plays. Journey In Blue has a febrile glow of authenticity: its Andersen is real…offers a valuable insight into a stunted genius.’ – Guardian


STIG DALAGER (born in 1952) is a Danish author of novels, poetry and story collections as well as plays, television and film scripts. One of Denmark’s most distinguished writers, his internationally known works include the Sarajevo play I Count the HoursThe Dream, and the novel Journey in Blue, which tells the story of Hans Christian Anderson's last moments before his death. Dalager's novel Two Days in July about Claus von Stauffenberg and the plot to kill Hitler would form the basis of the Hollywood movie Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise. 
Bibliographic Data
Date Published 11th May 2005
ISBN Number 9780720612691
Pages 320

Journey In Blue

  • £13.50


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Tags: Hans Christian Anderson, H.C. Anderson, Scandinavia, Scandinavian literature, Denmark, Danish fiction, scandi, scandinavian fiction, biography, fictional biography, Stig Dalager, Dalager