This article examines how twentieth-century critics, especially in Germany, grappled with the question of Hans Christian Andersen's appropriateness for children. In debating this question critics point to the nature of the fantastic and personification in Andersen’s stories and their relationship to social reality and allegory; Andersen’s irony and the “intellectual" content of his tales; the melancholy and pessimism pervading many tales; and the place of his stories between children's literature and adult literature, and between the Romantic and the modern. Ultimately, the paper also gestures toward the “genetic diversity" of Andersen's works, the mistaken homogeneity of his oeuvre, and the fact that he is not only a forerunner of writers like Franz Kafka but also the creator of works based on a poetics of a modern children’s literature that is both parabolic and symbolic.
Ewers, Hans-Heino. "H. C. Andersen as Seen by Critics of German Children’s Literature since the Beginning of the Twentieth Century." Marvels & Tales 20.2 (2006). Web. <http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol20/iss2/7>.