Cover image for Understanding Isak Dinesen
Understanding Isak Dinesen
Brantly, Susan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Columbia, S.C. : University of South Carolina Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xv, 235 pages ; 24 cm.
Editor's preface -- Acknowledgments -- Abbreviations for editions used -- Chronology -- Chapter 1: Understanding Isak Dinesen -- Chapter 2: Seven gothic tales -- Chapter 3: Out of Africa -- Chapter 4: Winter's tales -- Chapter 5: Last tales -- Chapter 6: Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard -- Notes -- Selected bibliography -- Index.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
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Call Number
Material Type
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PT8175.B545 Z64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This is an introduction to the writings of the Scandinavian writer Isak Dinesen, whose works have attracted a passionate following throughout the world, and especially in the United States. Highly regarded by a generation that followed her televised trip to America in the 1950s and by a later generation who watched the Oscar-winning 1985 film Out of Africa, Dinesen gained her initial literary success in the United States. In this guide Susan Brantly illumines the complexities that enrich not only Dinesen's fictional works but also the memoir she wrote of her time in Kenya.

Author Notes

Susan C. Brantly holds a Ph.D. in Germanic languages and literatures from Yale University and is a professor of Scandinavian literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The author of The Life and Writings of Laura Marholm, Brantly has published articles on Dinesen, August Strindberg, and other prominent figures in Scandinavian and Germanic literature. Brantly lives in Madison

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This new release in the valuable "Understanding Modern European and Latin American Literature" series provides newcomer and veteran alike with a rich study of the many-sided writings of the Danish writer Isak Dinesen (born Karen Blixen). The book consists of a preface, acknowledgements, chronology of Dinesen's life (1885-1962), introduction, chapters on the works. Brantly (Scandinavian literature, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) has done extensive research in secondary material in several languages, though the bibliography cites literature in English only. She sums up her approach well, saying that the reader who takes up these essays will "in the best case ... feel that he or she has spent time discussing these texts with a group of particularly well informed and observant friends." Often these friends disagree, especially on matters related to the war between the sexes. But the conversations are excellent, particularly the explanation of allusions to world literature and mythology, which along with sophisticated narrative techniques reveal Dinesen to be more complex and mysterious than many have heretofore realized. Highly recommended for all academic and public collections. J. G. Holland Davidson College

Table of Contents

Editor's Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Abbreviations for Editions Usedp. xi
Chronologyp. xiii
Chapter 1 Understanding Isak Dinesenp. 1
Chapter 2 Seven Gothic Talesp. 12
Chapter 3 Out of Africap. 72
Chapter 4 Winter's Talesp. 101
Chapter 5 Last Talesp. 143
Chapter 6 Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengardp. 181
Notesp. 205
Selected Bibliographyp. 223
Indexp. 229