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Ice Virgin

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The Ice Virgin

Hans Christian Andersen, trans. by Paul Binding

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-1489-2
Trim Size: 5" x 7 3/4"
Overlook Press

Product Description

The first stand-alone English translation of this uniquely original and powerful Hans Christian Andersen adult masterpiece

The relationship between a daring young chamois hunter from the remote Bernese Oberland and a prosperous miller’s daughter living in the comfortable French-speaking Swiss canton of Vaud plays out a complex of themes, such as the instinctive life versus rational civilization and the role of early experience in shaping personal destiny, in this dark and affecting Hans Christian Andersen adult novella.

In the terrifying Ice Virgin and her eerie minions, with their implacable hatred of mankind, we get a glimpse of the fairy tale Andersen. But The Ice Virgin, the most disturbing, ambitious, and searching of all of Andersen’s narratives, is also a thoroughly absorbing story of the real world. Andersen here is writing about a world he saw as something of a paradigm of the human condition, and this lies behind the story’s multilayered complexity.

This splendid new translation by Paul Binding and his erudite and comprehensive afterword together make a compelling case for just why The Ice Virgin deserves to be placed in the first rank of world literature.

“Striking the perfect balance between fairy tale atmosphere and eerie narrative for the adult reader, Paul Binding’s new translation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ice Virgin vividly depicts the eternal struggle between the forces of nature and the forces within ourselves. It underlines, for the twenty-first century reader, the infinitesimal significance of any individual life, even the most promising and courageous, as well as the importance of living in the moment.” —Linda Schenck, translator of Selma Lagerlöf, Kerstin Ekman and others

Hans Christian Anderson (1805-75) has won lasting fame and popularity for his fairy tales, but he also wrote novels, plays, travelogues, autobiographies, and tales for an adult readership.

Paul Binding is a leading literary critic and writer on Scandinavian culture. He is the author of numerous books, including Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness.

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