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Seven Gothic Tales. With an Introduction by Dorothy Canfield.
New York, 1934.. The true first edition of Blixen's first book, her proper debut and "the most astonishing and perhaps greatest literary work of art from between the wars". This literary masterpiece was originally published in America, as it is here, then in the UK later the same year, and in a re-written edition in Danish in 1935. The legendary Danish writer, Karen Blixen-Finecke (pseudonym: Isak Dinesen) (1885-1962), was a Danish baroness, who married her cousin, the Swedish Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, in 1914. They soon moved to Africa, where they ran a coffee-farm near Nairobi, and the happiest years of Blixen's life were spent here (she used to say: "Africa made me"). She divorced her husband, who was cheating on her and gave her syphilis, in 1922, and in 1932 she moved back to Denmark after the farm had gone bankrupt and her lover, Denys Finch-Hatton, had died in a plane-crash. She spent the remaining 30 years of her life in Denmark, where she died a legendary writer. After she had returned to Denmark, she began preparing some of the stories she had been working on in Africa for publication. She used the pseudonym Isak Dinesen (the name Isak is derived from the Hebrew Itzhak, which means "he laughed", and Dinesen was her maiden name) so that the public would think she was a man - in order to be taken seriously as a writer. Although written under a male pseudonym, the book was still not met with instant appreciation. Karen Blixen then offered the tales to the editor Constant Huntington at Putnam's in England, but he turned them down; luckily, her brother was well connected and within two years, his acquaintance, the American writer Dorythy Canfield (who wrote the introduction for the first edition), succeeded in having the book of stories published by Robert Haas and Harrison Smith (later Random House) in America. Blixen's first book became a success, was elected Book-of-the-Month-Club, and was published by Putnam's later the same year. It established her reputation and laid the foundations for her further writings, financially as well as literally. She translated the tales into Danish and published them thus in 1935. "In the middle of the thirties the most astonishing and perhaps greatest literary work of art from between the wars landed in Denmark - via the USA: Isak Dinesen's "Sy Fantastiske Fortællinger" (1935), re-written in Danish by the author after the English-language original, "Seven Gothic Tales" (1934). [...] This book, as well as the ones to come, was received with excitement, astonishment and respect; but it was not until the war, and especially after the war, that the particular actuality of the writings was fully realized - and this was to become of literary importance" (Politiken's History of Danish Literature - own translation).Karen Blixen's first book, the collections of Gothic Tales, were quite unusual at the time. They take place about a hundred years before the time in which they were written and they tend towards the gloomy and the grotesque. They were meant to startle, but not fright, the reader, and they contain many magical and supernatural elements. In many ways the stories resemble those of "A Thousand and One Nights".Since her breakthrough with "Seven Gothic Tales", Blixen has been considered a writer of the greatest importance, and execized a great influence upon writers and cultural personas of the generations to come - many authors recognize her as a direct source of inspiration. Several of her novels have been filmatized, she was nominated for the Nobel Prize twice, she was elected honorary member of "The American Academy of Arts and Letters" (1957), and her portrait is printed on the Danish 50 kr. notes. She is the most famous of all modern Danish writers, and the only one of international fame
      [Bookseller: Lynge & Søn A/S]
Last Found On: 2016-02-09           Check availability:      Antikvariat    

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