Literary Birthday – 17 April – Karen Blixen

Karen Blixen was born 17 April 1885, and died 7 September 1962.

I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up; near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold. (from Out of Africa, the film)

Nine Karen Blixen Quotes

  1. Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.
  2. Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.
  3. All sorrows can be borne if you can put them into a story.
  4. It is difficult to restrain admirers of Shakespeare once they have begun to speak of him.
  5. God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.
  6. We must leave our mark on life while we have it in our power.
  7. I start with a tingle, a kind of feeling of the story I will write. Then come the characters, and they take over, they make the story.
  8. Of all the idiots I have met in my life, and the Lord knows they have not been few or little, I think that I have been the biggest.
  9. To be a person is to have a story to tell.

‘Do you know a cure for me?’
‘Why yes,’ he said, ‘I know a cure for everything. Salt water.’
‘Salt water?’ I asked him.
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.’  (from Seven Gothic Tales)

Karen Blixen 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. Follow this link to see where Karen Blixen wrote.

Source for Image: By SAS Scandinavian Airlines ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 17th April 2013