Hans Christian Andersen came to Copenhagen at the age of 14.
A Genius Arrives in Town
I don’t believe a 14-year old who dares to travel to the capital has problems with self-perception. A gifted 14-year old always believes that he or she is something special. People were more developed at that age back then, due to life’s hardships, but I can remember myself as an 18-year old journalist student - I could write about anything and everything. There was nothing I couldn’t tackle, even the state of the world. Today, I’m scared senseless about writing even the tiniest thing.
Andersen wasn’t content with his own social class at the bottom of society. He headed directly for the intellectual elite and the upper classes in Copenhagen. It’s possible they found him to be rather odd, but he was equipped with an enormous self-confidence. He didn’t doubt for a minute that he was something special. I believe that true geniuses make something of themselves. Not too many geniuses were found picking turnips in the fields.
Meeting the Upper Classes
Andersen has proved that he could break out of his poverty-stricken origins and make people take notice of him, even though he suffered through many painful experiences. When one has been through so much, it is possible to head out across the glossy, polished floors with a powerful self-confidence. He was, however, also very lucky to meet people who could see his potential and who taught him how to keep up appearances.
When Andersen started to make inroads into the right circles and yearned to be in the right places and talk to the right people, it was because he had developed himself on an intellectual level. After all, it was hardly a flock of nitwits he became friends with back then.
Born 1917. Lise Nørgaard is, without a doubt, The Grand Old Dame of Danish Literature. She is a journalist and writer and has worked at two of the national newspapers, Politiken and Berlingske Tidende. She has published a wealth of books and is most well-known for her memoirs “Just a Girl” and “They Sent a Lady”. In addition, she has worked on a long line of films, radio series and TV series, including the Danish classic “Matador”