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Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
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Out of Africa (1937)

by Isak Dinesen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,045781,862 (3.95)326
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» See also 326 mentions

English (67)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
This charming memoir discusses the time that Isak Dinesen lived on a coffee plantation in Kenya. With lush, vibrant prose, Africa really comes alive under her pen. I have heard that this book was turned into a movie back in the eighties with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, but I had never heard of it before. I was talking about the book and people would mention a movie, and I was surprised, but I should not have been. I mean, they made Under The Tuscan Sun a movie and that had nothing to do with the book besides the fact that it took place in Italy.

There are some horrific scenes in this book as well, so don't think it's all sunshine and lollipops. At one point, a child accidentally shoots another set of children with a shotgun. She describes everything as she sees it, and talks about how they had to rebuild a child's jaw. Africa is quite a nice sounding place. However, I don't think I could go there and appreciate it like this woman does.

On another aside; I initially thought Isak Dinesen was a man. I suppose it doesn't really matter. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Nope. Not having it. I lost faith in the book awhile ago, but I kept trying anyway and there's no surer way of spoiling a book. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I was surprised to discover that the book is nothing at all like the move starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. Written in English (Blixen was multi-lingual), there is no real hint of the marriage to Baron Bror Fredrik von Blixen-Fineck and their separation in 1920-21 and subsequent divorce in 1925. Nor is there anything more than a subtle hint of the affection for Denys George Finch Hatton (as portrayed by Robert Redford in the movie). And who could have known that Blixen suffered from syphilis, courtesy of her philandering husband. This is an interesting work and reads in part like a diary. Various scholars consider the style and arrangement of the book into certain themes and chronological devices, but this didn't strike me as anything special. It was Blixen's obvious feeling and emotion and love for life in British East Africa (Kenya) that drives the stories. One cannot help but be sad when she leaves the farm. One can only imagine, too, what it would be like to live in that timeless place. Having said that, the attitude toward the original inhabitants of Kenya reads like any other historically-inspired work of the 1930s, with frequent literary comparisons - as opposed to overtly racist vilification - of some of the characters to monkeys and other animals of the area. Indeed, it is hard to escape the imperialist attitudes of the times and how, given the people had lived on the land for generations, Colonialism suddenly relegates them to the status of squatters (six months of labour in exchange for living on and utilising the uncultivated land of the white farmers). There is much of the admiration for "the noble savage" that permeates the work, despite Blixen's obvious love for Africa. More interesting are the stories of Blixen herself - partly captured in the movie - and that she was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature several times, losing out to John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway. Blixen was quite the character, and her other works might be worth investigating. But it is difficult to identify with her in her Colonial context. Blixen was quite the character, and her other works might be worth investigating. But it is difficult to identify with her in her Colonial context. To be sure, the work captures the place and times, but living in the post-Colonial era, one can only wonder at the past. ( )
1 vote madepercy | Dec 26, 2018 |
Clearly one of the best books I have ever read. This is not really a novel. It's a storybook, filled with the interpretations of life, of a brilliant women. I have fallen in love with her Africa, with her people and her farm. I have come to understand a part of this woman's life, as I never thought I would. This is why stories are important, no matter how trivial they seem, stories always matter. ( )
1 vote marie2830 | Sep 2, 2018 |
Kenya
  oirm42 | May 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
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» 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
Moorehead, AlanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perlet, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolf, RuthTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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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 7 descriptions

Legacy Library: Isak Dinesen

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183330, 0241951437, 0143566369

 

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