I’ve long had a soft spot for Hans Christian Andersen. He was a depressive who lived with very bad teeth at a time when dentistry wasn’t exactly what it is now. He lived in constant pain. He never really fit in wherever he was, and didn’t particularly care much for his home town. This wasn’t someone who wrote cheery stories, by and large. He was also something of a visionary. He once wrote about how he imagined the world in the year 2000, when Americans will fly to Europe in great airships with wings. They will telegraph their hotel reservations ahead, and come with guide books that will tell them what to see. And flying will be such a fast mode of transportation that the airships will be crowded and the people will be able to come see all the sights in a week before flying home again. He wrote this in the mid 19th C.
to cut in. Like the ancient expression that the form and art was hidden in the stone, only to be revealed by the sculptor, the poet used his material—the paper—to engrave, or rather to carve out his ideas with ink. And more radically he used his unexpected monstrous scissors to cut out the most elegant figures. (Odense City Museum)