Isak Dinesen

Isak Dinesen (ē´säk dē´nəsən), pseud. of Baroness Karen Blixen, 1885–1962, Danish author, who wrote primarily in English. In 1914 she married Baron Blixen and went to live in British East Africa, on a coffee plantation. She was divorced in 1921 and took over the management of the plantation where she lived until 1931, when falling coffee prices forced her to return to Denmark. From her experiences she wrote her autobiographical Out of Africa (1937), which became a successful film. Dinesen is best known for her tales, many of which have eerie, supernatural elements. Her works include Seven Gothic Tales (1934), Winter's Tales (1943), Last Tales (1957), and Anecdotes of Destiny (1958). Writing despite severe illness, Dinesen finished the African sketches Shadows on the Grass in 1960.

See her Letters from Africa, 1919–1931 (1981); biography by P. Migel (1967) and studies by E. O. Johannesson (1961), R. W. Langbaum (1964), F. Lasson and C. Svendson (1970), D. Hannah (1971), J. Thurman (1982), and B. Wamberg, ed. (1985).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Isak Dinesen: Selected full-text books and articles

Isak Dinesen: The Life and Imagination of a Seducer By Olga Anastasia Pelensky Ohio University Press, 1991
Manichean Aesthetics: The Politics of Literature in Colonial Africa By Abdul R. Janmohamed University of Massachusetts Press, 1983
Librarian’s tip: "Isak Dinesen: The Generation of Mythic Consciousness" begins on p. 49
Images of Truth: Remembrances and Criticism By Glenway Wescott Harper & Row, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "Isak Dinesen, the Storyteller"
A History of Danish Literature By Sven H. Rossel University of Nebraska Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Discussions of Karen Blixen begin on p. 375 and p. 404
The Devil's Advocates: Decadence in Modern Literature By Thomas Reed Whissen Greenwood Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Isak Dinesen in multiple chapters
Women in Twentieth-Century Literature: A Jungian View By Bettina L. Knapp Pennsylvania State University Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Isak Dinesen's 'Peter and Rosa': An Alchemical Transfiguration from Fixatio to Solutio"
Tracing Women's Romanticism: Gender, History and Transcendence By Kari E. Lokke Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Epilogue "Comic flight and the winds of fate: Isak Dinesen's The Dreamers"
Telling Women's Lives: The New Biography By Linda Wagner-Martin Rutgers University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Thurman's Dinesen" begins on p. 137
Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature By Kathy J. Whitson Greenwood Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Isak Dinesen" begins on p. 75
Multicultural Writers from Antiquity to 1945: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook By Alba Amoia; Bettina L.Knapp Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)" begins on p. 91
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