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Isak Dinesen entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
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Isak Dinesen, cosmopolitan fiction-writer of the mid twentieth century writing in Danish and English, produced short stories in periodicals and collections, a couple of novels, and two highly unusual books about Africa in which the element of travel-writing or reporting is outweighed by the construction of an imaginative utopia depicting a richer life than that of the modern and everyday. Her letters, published after her death, are also unusual and fascinating examples of their genre. She is an important figure, known for her use of symbolism, myth, fable, romance, and fairy-tale, and for her exotic settings and esoteric subject-matter. But her "central concern was the situation of women." Bibliographic Citation link.
Milestones
17 April 1885 Karen Dinesen (who later became Karen Blixen and wrote as ID) was born at Rungstedlund, near Copenhagen in Denmark; it stands on the sea, looking across the water to Sweden. Bibliographic Citation link.
August 1907 Karen Dinesen (later ID), already writing tales in Danish as a student, published a piece called "The Hermits" in Tilskueren, a respected literary journal edited by Valdemar Vedel. She used the pseudonym 'Osceola'. Bibliographic Citation link.
Later 1937 Under her actual name of 'Karen Blixen', ID re-created and interpreted her lost African world in the autobiographical Out of Africa, issued in parallel versions in two languages in England and Denmark. Bibliographic Citation link.
October 1960 ID published the final book of her lifetime: another memoir of her life in Africa, Shadows on the Grass. Bibliographic Citation link.
7 September 1962 ID died of emaciation, after a lifetime of inherited syphilis and the removal of part of her stomach. Bibliographic Citation link.
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