At first sight it seems unlikely that Hans Christian Andersen could have much to do with Søren Kierkegaard, beyond the fact that both of them lived in nineteenth-century Copenhagen, and that they are the only Danish authors who are famous outside Denmark. What do fairy tales have to do with philosophy? What could the creator of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Little Mermaid” or “The Snow Queen” have in common with the author of Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, The Concept of Anxiety and Sickness unto Death? And what could connect the most popular storyteller in history, whose 200th anniversary last year was celebrated all round the world, to the grim Lutheran who came fourteenth in a BBC poll to find our favourite philosopher, with a derisory 1.65 per cent of the vote?
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