Erik Christian Haugaard:
[Hans Christian] Andersen was the last great teller of fairy tales. We may create tales of imagination and fantasy, but they are not fairy tales. The fairy tale and the folk tale take place in the real world, no matter how exotic and strange their backgrounds may be. Witches, trolls, or mermaids may appear; but they are not figments of anyone’s imagination; they are as real as the princess or the peasant. We who are manacled by a belief in progress and theories of natural behavior find it hard to understand this. We prefer to escape into fantasy, into worlds that are safe because they never have existed and never will.
From Haugaard’s introduction to his translation of Andersen’s tales.