Karen Blixen

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Karen Blixen bigraphy, stories - Danish author, author of ''Out of Africa''

Karen Blixen : biography

17 April 1885 – 7 September 1962

Karen von Blixen-Finecke (), (17 April 1885 – 7 September 1962), née Karen Christenze Dinesen, was a Danish author also known by her pen name Isak Dinesen. She also wrote under the pen names Osceola and Pierre Andrézel. Blixen wrote works in Danish, French, and English.

Blixen is best known for Out of Africa, her account of living in Kenya, and one of her stories, Babette’s Feast, both of which have been adapted into highly acclaimed, Academy Award-winning motion pictures. Prior to the release of the first film, she was noted for her Seven Gothic Tales, for which she is also known in Denmark.

Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, described it as "a mistake" that Blixen was not awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature during the 1930s.Rising, Malin. . AP (Google). 7 October 2010. "There were some prizes that went wrong, there were a number of people that the academy missed," Englund said. "This is not the Vatican of literature, we are not infallible in that way." Englund declined to name the prizes that he believed went wrong, but said it was a mistake to not give the prize to Danish author Karen Blixen, also known by her pen name, Isak Dinesen, wrote Out of Africa about her life in Kenya in the early 1930s. Other famous writers who didn’t get the prize include Leo Tolstoy, Marcel Proust, James Joyce and Graham Greene. She never did win, though she finished in third place behind Graham Greene in 1961, the year Ivo Andrić was awarded the prize.

List of Works

Some of Blixen’s works were published posthumously, including tales previously removed from earlier collections and essays she wrote for various occasions.

  • The Hermits (1907, published in a Danish journal under the name Osceola)
  • The Ploughman (1907, published in a Danish journal under the name Osceola)
  • The de Cats Family (1909, published in Tilskueren)
  • The Revenge of Truth (1926, published in Denmark)
  • Seven Gothic Tales (1934 in USA, 1935 in Denmark)
  • Out of Africa (1937 in Denmark and England, 1938 in USA)
  • Winter’s Tales (1942)
  • The Angelic Avengers (1946)
  • Last Tales (1957)
  • Anecdotes of Destiny (1958) (including Babette’s Feast)
  • Shadows on the Grass (1960 in England and Denmark, 1961 in USA)
  • Ehrengard (posthumous 1963, USA)
  • Carnival: Entertainments and Posthumous Tales (posthumous 1977, USA)
  • Daguerreotypes and Other Essays (posthumous 1979, USA)
  • On Modern Marriage and Other Observations (posthumous 1986, USA)
  • Letters from Africa, 1914–1931 (posthumous 1981, USA)
  • Karen Blixen in Danmark: Breve 1931–1962 (posthumous 1996, Denmark)

Family

Blixen’s great-nephew, Anders Westenholz, was also an accomplished writer, and has written books about her and her literature, among other things.

Karen Blixen was also, in addition to being depicted on a Danish banknote, featured on a Danish postage stamp, issued in 1980.

Rungstedlund Museum

The Karen Blixen Museum in [[Rungstedlund, Denmark]]

Blixen lived most of her life at the family estate Rungstedlund, which was acquired by her father in 1879. The property is located in Rungsted, north of Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital. The oldest parts of the estate date to 1680, and it had been operated as both an inn and a farm. Most of Blixen’s writing was done in Ewald’s Room, named after author Johannes Ewald. The property is managed by the Rungstedlund Foundation, founded by Blixen and her siblings. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1991.

Legacy

The Nairobi suburb that stands on the land where Blixen farmed coffee is now named Karen. Blixen herself declared in her later writings that "the residential district of Karen" was "named after me".Dinesen, Isak, Shadows on the Grass, from the combined Vintage International Edition of Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass, New York 1989, p. 458. And Blixen’s biographer, Judith Thurman, was told by the developer who bought the farm from the family corporation that he planned to name the district after Blixen.