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Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen
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Seven Gothic Tales (1934)

by Isak Dinesen

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1,795223,902 (3.97)83
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English (17)  Danish (3)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  All (22)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
The stories grouped together in [Syv fantastiske fortælliger]are cleverly barbed, often male-centric narratives that deliver a usually female voice at the centre, filtered through various genres, anecdotes, and lengthy monologues. The stories seem uninterested in sticking with a single perspective, or narrative thread -- characters tell, overhear or imagine each other their adventures at the drop of a hat. They manage to feel slightly picaresque while maintaining a clear view of their own coherent goal. That goal may not always be clear to the reader until very late in the story, but even with all the weird digressions, I never lost the feeling that I was in the hands of a capable author who knew what they were doing, and I was only too happy to cut Blixen all the slack she needed.

An unusual reading experience, but one I was glad to be along for. ( )
1 vote Petroglyph | Dec 29, 2017 |
READ THIS BOOK. It's one of the best books I read this year. I have to get that off my chest first.

This was another book I picked up at the rotary book sale for all of 25 cents, browsing books while Jen was doing her second round of the furniture. I had only picked it out because, well, Isak Dinesen is someone I was on my way to reading before I couldn't for a while, and the gothic is always appealing, and it just seemed the right size and shape and leaving it behind somehow was not an option. Then it stayed on my bookshelf in another house altogether, and then one night at my aunt's Jeopardy was playing in the background and the question was gothic literature and it asked the author of this book and I answered and Bianca asked how I even knew all these answers and I shrugged and mostly just thought how I really ought to read it. And then Isak Dinesen was mentioned in a show I was watching, and then when I was exchanging read books for unread books I picked up this one.

It's magical. It's beautiful. It's a dark and rich jewel. Superbly gothic, superbly imagined, superbly written. Why isn't this book more often talked about! Why isn't this book never on any top fiction lists? It was enchanting, and it's changed me, really. It's changed the way I'll write. It's opened up gates, new underworlds of imagination, that I never knew I hadn't reached.

The way so many of the stories play with unconventional gender and sexuality really surprised me, given when it came out, and given it's Book-of-the-month status back in 1934. It is such an odd choice for book-of-the-month, for publishing in the first place, except for the fact that it is one of the most beautiful and wonderful books I've ever read. ( )
1 vote likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Dinesin's stories can be read again and again. And it's always a good story... ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Read "The Old Chevalier" and "The Monkey." Old World European settings, digressive, purple and overripe prose, ponderous, dense with literary allusions and untranslated French, little humor. Nabokov in earnest, if you like. Others say they were spellbound. I was bored. One of these days I may give some of the other stories a try; perhaps I read the wrong ones. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
In a world where candor about sex has become the default, have we lost the ability to respond to hints and indirection?

Dinesen says of the young protagonist of "The Monkey" and his fellow officers that A sanctimonious clique of the capital, led by the Court Chaplain, of all people, who had the ear of high personages, had under pretense of moral indignation, lifted their voices against these young flowers of the land and that the ladies of the convent had learnt to connect [the problem] with those romantic and sacred shores of ancient Greece which they had till now held in high esteem, she is telling us that the young man and his friends have been outed, as we say nowadays. The story makes much more sense once this is understood -- but none of the commenters I have found seem to have noticed.
  sonofcarc | Oct 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (71 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isak Dinesenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Atwood, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baylay, KateIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fisher, Dorothy CanfieldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The person who has set his teeth into a kind of fruit new to him, is usually as eager as he is unable to tell you how it tastes.
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Coffee, according to the women of Denmark, is to the body what the word of the Lord is to the soul.
The waves looked solid, as if one might safely have walked upon them, while it was into the vertigionus sky that one might sink and fall, into the turbulent and unfathomable depths of silvery worlds, of bright silver or dull and tarnished silver, forever silver reflected within silver, moving and changing, towering up, slowly and weightless.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679736417, Paperback)

Originally published in 1934, Seven Gothic Tales, the first book by "one of the finest and most singular artists of our time" (The Atlantic), is a modern classic. Here are seven exquisite tales combining the keen psychological insight characteristic of the modern short story with the haunting mystery of the nineteenth-century Gothic tale, in the tradition of writers such as Goethe, Hoffmann, and Poe.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:44 -0400)

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