Saturday, May 4, 2013

Postcrossing card from Horsens: Fairy tales and famous prisons

(If you're checking in for the first time in a while, I'm in the final two days of highlighting some of the dandy postcards I've received through the Postcrossing project. See the initial post here, and see all of the cards in the Postcrossing subcategory.)

Tonight's postcard...

Sender: Kirsten in Horsens, Denmark

Message: "Hello Chris, I'm a retired teacher living in Horsens, Denmark. Horsens was known for its huge, ugly State Prison. It closed in 2006, and now the building is an interesting prison museum — a bit like Alcatraz! Concerts (rock mainly) and other events are also held there. A few weeks ago there was a crime(!) book fair/show going on there. The artist who did this painting on the card (Svend Otto S.) is very famous in DK. He died in 1996. Has illustrated hundreds of books."

I love this card, which came to York from nearly 3,900 miles away (as the crow flies). Some thoughts and notes:

  • Horsens looks like it would be a wonderful place to visit (or live). The Wikipedia image at right shows a street in the older section of the city. It reminds me of the other human-scale streets in Scandinavia — Fiskargränd in Visby, Sweden, and Møntestræde in Odense, Denmark — that I've written about in the past.
  • Fun coincidence: Kirsten mentions Horsens State Prison and Alcatraz and, on the day I received this postcard in the mail, I came home from work to find my wife and daughter watching the episode of MythBusters in which the team investigates whether Clarence Anglin, John Anglin and Frank Morris could have successfully escaped Alcatraz in 1962 using an inflatable raft made from ponchos. (The verdict: Plausible.)
  • The Discovering Denmark blog had an interesting post about Horsens State Prison just a few days ago.
  • The full name of artist Svend Otto S. (1916-1996), who did the Snow White illustration on this postcard, is Svend Otto Sørensen. According to information provided by Maria Nikolajeva on "His illustrations are characterized by a richness of detail, elaborate technique, and warm humour. They also show a clear tendency to counterbalance the Disney style. Unlike many illustrators of classical fairy tales, Svend Otto S. addresses primarily an audience of children, avoiding adult connotations or allusions. He has also written and illustrated original fairy tales, exploring characters from Norse mythology, like trolls."
  • Kirsten notes that the Swedish translation of Snow White is Snövit.

Finally, Kirsten used three wonderful stamps to mail her postcard. The first one is Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale stamp in Denmark.

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