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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Andersen - It's Perfectly True! - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

There have been many translations of the master storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen.  This is by Mrs. H.B. Paull.  I encourage you to compare many of them before telling this story.  One change I make when telling this story is to make a refrain of "It's Perfectly True!" every time the story is retold.  You will notice that isn't the way Mrs. Paull handled it.  I was unsuccessful in getting a completely readable copy from my own very old and undated copy, but love the story I went prowling online versions of her work.  There seem to have been many.  My copy titles the story, "It Is Quite True", but nowhere could I find that.  The story is so delightful that the best and clearest version that claims to be by her in 1872 is "There Is No Doubt About It."  You'll have to click the link to see it, but it's worth it!

Her translation is different there from in my book.  My suspicion is that she loved this and other Andersen tales so much she kept trying to get it exactly right.

Similarly many have tried to get the Arabian Nights stories exactly right.  Next time we'll look at a tale of an Illiterate Schoolmaster. 

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This is part of a series of bi-weekly posting of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories. 

Currently I'm involved in projects taking me out of my usual work of sharing stories with an audience.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  This fall I expect to return to my normal monthly posting of a research project here.  Depending on response, I will decide at that time if "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my monthly postings. 
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