HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Loading...

Out of Africa (1937)

by Isak Dinesen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,461641,547 (3.98)273
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 273 mentions

English (53)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Meh. This is a perfect example of a book that just wasn't what I wanted it to be. I knew that the book did not get personal as the movie does and that Denison's interesting love life was not part of this book, but I didn't expect that all of the author's personality would be stripped from this "memoir". Instead, this is Denison's musings on Africa. As such, I suppose it is interesting as a capsule of European views of Africa at the time, but I didn't like the tone that the Africans were described in (very belittling) or all the hunting and killing of the wildlife so that the Europeans could have their farms and livestock. It just put a bad taste in my mouth.

I will admit that some of the writing is beautiful and it is interesting from a historical perspective, but, overall, I was just bored and sort of annoyed. I would have just set this aside after the first chapter but I wanted to complete it since it's on the 1001 books to read before you die list. ( )
  japaul22 | Apr 14, 2016 |
Wonderful storytelling, and she writes beautifully. Quite different from the movie, and the romance with Denys Finch Hatton is nowhere in sight. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Apr 11, 2016 |
So good. She had incredible style, can't wait to read another. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Major Characters in Out of Africa
Denys Finch Hatton – Blixen’s portrait of Finch Hatton is as a kind of philosopher king, a man of exceptional erudition and natural grace, at one with nature, who fit in everywhere and nowhere: “When he came back to the farm, it gave out what was in it – it spoke… When I heard his car coming up the drive, I heard, at the same time, all the things of the farm telling what they really were.”[20] Such glowing reports of Finch Hatton are not uncommon; by all accounts he radiated, from a young age, a kind of warmth and serenity that many people found irresistible. But while Blixen is generally believed to have been Finch Hatton's lover, and she writes of him with unbridled adoration, in Out of Africa at least she refrains from ever clearly defining the nature of their relationship. Finch Hatton came from a titled British family and was educated at Eton and Oxford. But he turned his back on his British noblesse, and came to Africa in 1911, at the age of 24.[21] He began as a farmer and trader, but later became a white hunter – and he was well-liked by many Africans. Blixen met Finch Hatton at a dinner in 1918. He was, to judge by Blixen’s correspondence as well as some passages from Out of Africa, the great love of her life. She was bound, she wrote to her brother, "to love the ground he walks upon, to be happy beyond words when he is here, and to suffer worse than death many times when he leaves."[22] After August 1923, when not on safari, Finch Hatton used Blixen’s farm as his home base.[23] Like her, Finch Hatton was a lifelong non-conformist, and it was apparently a cause of great heartache to her that he resisted her efforts to form a more permanent “partnership.”[24] Blixen is believed to have miscarried at least one child fathered by him. From late 1930 to early 1931, as their romance was ending, Finch Hatton took Blixen flying over her farm and other parts of Africa in his de Havilland Gipsy Moth biplane, which she described as “the most transporting pleasure of my life on the farm.”[25] In May 1931, when their affair was likely over for good, Finch Hatton was killed when his Gypsy Moth crashed after takeoff at the Voi aerodrome; those events are recounted in the last chapters of Out of Africa.
Farah Aden – When Blixen first met Farah, she mistook him for an Indian. However, Farah was a Somali of the Habr Yunis, a tribe of fierce, handsome, and shrewd traders and cattle-dealers.[26] It was common among the British colonists of the early period to hire Somalis as major-domos. Most Somalis were, by the accounts of their employers, highly organized, effective managers. In Shadows on the Grass, Blixen would describe the Somalis as aristocrats among the Africans, "superior in culture and intelligence", and well-matched in terms of hauteur with the Europeans they chose to serve.[27] Farah had been hired to work for Bror Blixen as a steward, and Bror sent him to Mombasa to greet Karen when she got off the steamer from England. According to Dinesen's biographer Judith Thurman, “it was upon meeting Farah in Mombasa that Dinesen’s Vita Nuova (new life) truly began.”[26] Blixen entrusted Farah with the farm’s cash flow, and eventually with her complete trust. Farah shared her daily life, mediated her relations with the Africans, and relieved her of many practical burdens. The two would grow exceedingly close, with Blixen herself describing their relationship as a "creative unity".[28] The chapter in which Blixen describes the sale of her farm is titled, “Farah and I Sell Out.” After Blixen and her husband divorced, Farah remained loyal to her, sometimes leaving Karen's service temporarily to work on one of Bror's safaris.[29]
Kamante Gatura – A young boy crippled by running sores when he enters Blixen’s life, Kamante was successfully treated by the doctors at the “Scotch" Christian mission near the farm, and thereafter served Blixen as a cook and as a wry, laconic commentator on her choices and her lifestyle. There is a strong suggestion that Blixen and Kamante are well-suited as friends because both are loners and skeptics, who look at their own cultures with the critical eye of the misfit.
Berkeley Cole – Cole was, like Finch Hatton, a British expatriate improvising a charmed life among the colony’s well-to-do. Cole was a veteran of the Boer War, a possessor of a sly wit who affected a dandy’s persona in the Kenya colony. He was also the founder of the Muthaiga Club, the legendary private Nairobi enclave of the colony’s demi-monde.[30] Cole was a close friend of Finch Hatton and the two men supplied Blixen with much of the wine she served on her farm (she famously described him drinking a bottle of champagne every morning at eleven, and complaining if the glasses were not of the finest quality). Cole died in 1925 of heart failure, at the age of 43. “An epoch in the history of the Colony came to an end with him,” Blixen wrote. “The yeast was out of the bread of the land.”[31]
Kinanjui – Kinanjui was “the big chief” of Blixen’s neighborhood – “a crafty old man, with a fine manner, and much real greatness to him,” Blixen writes.[32] British colonial authorities had appointed him the highest-ranking chief among the Kikuyu in Blixen’s region because they couldn’t get along with his predecessor;[32] as such he was a significant authority figure for the Kikuyu who lived on her farm. Upon Blixen’s arrival in Kenya, it was Kinanjui who assured her that she would never lack for laborers. Although the book doesn’t fail to point out some of Kinanjui’s vanities (such as the large automobile he buys from an American diplomat), Blixen depicts the king as a figure with a deep sense of his own dignity and royal presence. Kinanjui is also one of the figures in the story who dies toward the end of the memoir, leaving her – as do the deaths of Cole and Finch Hatton – ever more isolated and uncertain.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
What glorious writing. I first read this about 10 years ago, and re-read it for my book club. If you're expecting the movie you'll be greatly disappointed - Dennys Finch Hatton is barely mentioned. No, the great love of her life was Africa itself. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dinesen, Isakprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolf, RuthTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anttila, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Draesner, UlrikeAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drudi Demby, LuciaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huxley, ElspethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kielty, BernardineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundkvist, ArturTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perlet, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolf, RuthTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Equitare, Arcum tendere, Veritatem dicere
Dedication
First words
I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.
Quotations
A white man who wanted to say a pretty thing to you would write: "I can never forget you." The African says: "We do not think of you, that you can ever forget us."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679600213, Hardcover)

In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.

The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called "Announcement Number One." Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company's founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, "Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, 'I've got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let's call it Random House.' Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, 'That's a great name. I'll draw your trademark.' So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since." Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today.

This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:30 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful. The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called "Announcement Number One." Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company's founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, "Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, 'I've got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let's call it Random House.' Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, 'That's a great name. I'll draw your trademark.' So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since." Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today. This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

Legacy Library: Isak Dinesen

Isak Dinesen has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Isak Dinesen's legacy profile.

See Isak Dinesen's author page.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
13 avail.
68 wanted
9 pay6 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.98)
0.5
1 14
1.5 2
2 26
2.5 9
3 114
3.5 29
4 214
4.5 35
5 209

Audible.com

4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183330, 0241951437, 0143566369

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,898,738 books! | Top bar: Always visible