Friday, August 18, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Karen Blixen (1885 – 1962)


Danish author; born Karen Christence Dinesen, she is also known under her pen name Isak Dinesen.
Karen Blixen
Paraphrased variant : All suffering is bearable if it is seen as part of a story.
Blixen quotes
Africa, amongst the continents, will teach it to you: that God and the Devil are one, the majesty coeternal, not two uncreated but one uncreated, and the Natives neither confounded the persons nor divided the substance.
Blixen
During the first quarter of the last century, seaside resorts became the fashion, even in those countries of Northern Europe within the minds of whose people the sea had hitherto held the role of the devil, the cold and voracious hereditary foe of humanity.




Blixen Karen quotes
I think Marilyn is bound to make an almost overwhelming impression on the people who meet her for the first time. It is not that she is pretty, although she is of course almost incredibly pretty, but she radiates, at the same time, unbounded vitality and a kind of unbelievable innocence. I have met the same in a lion-cub, which my native servants in Africa brought me. I would not keep her, since I felt that it would in some way be wrong...I shall never forget the almost overpowering feeling of unconquerable strength and sweetness which she conveyed. I had all the wild nature of Africa amicably gazing at me with mighty playfulness.
Blixen Karen
God made the world, My Lord, and looked at it, and saw that it was good. Yes. But what if the world had looked back at him, to see whether he was good or not?
Karen Blixen quotes
The true aristocracy and the true proletariat of the world are both in understanding with tragedy. To them it is the fundamental principle of God, and the key, the minor key, to existence. They differ in this way from the bourgeoisie of all classes, who deny tragedy, who will not tolerate it, and to whom the word tragedy means in itself unpleasantness.
Karen Blixen
Isak Dinesen said that she wrote a little every day, without hope and without despair. I like that.
Blixen Karen quotes
It never has happened, and it never will happen, and that is why it is told.
Blixen
I don't believe in evil, I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the blights and the ants and the maggots.
Blixen Karen
What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?
Karen Blixen
Real art must always involve some witchcraft.




Karen Blixen quotes
There is hardly any other sphere in which prejudice and superstition of the most horrific kind have been retained so long as in that of women, and just as it must have been an inexpressable relief for humanity when it shook off the burden of religious prejudice and superstition, I think it will be truly glorious when women become real people and have the whole world open before them.
Karen Blixen
Man reaches the highest point of lovableness at 12 to 17 to get it back, in a second flowering, at the age of 70 to 90.
Blixen quotes
I have a feeling that wherever I may be in the future, I will be wondering whether there is rain at Ngong.
Blixen Karen
I do not know if you remember the tale of the girl who saves the ship under mutiny by sitting on the powder barrel with her lighted torch ... and all the time knowing that it is empty? This has seemed to me a charming image of the women of my time. There they were, keeping the world in order ... by sitting on the mystery of life, and knowing themselves that there was no mystery.
Blixen Karen quotes
Why, you are to become a story teller, and I shall give you the reasons! Hear then: Where the storyteller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness. But we, the faithful, when we have spoken our last word, will hear the voice of silence. Whether a small snotty lass understands it or not.
Karen Blixen
Love, with very young people, is a heartless business. We drink at that age from thirst, or to get drunk; it is only later in life that we occupy ourselves with the individuality of our wine. A young man in love is essentially enraptured by the forces within himself.
Karen Blixen quotes
Often since I have, in some sort, shot an Iguana, and have remembered that one in the reserve. Up at Meru I saw a young Native girl with a bracelet on, a leather strap two inches wide, and all embroidered over with very small turquoise-coloured beads which varied little in colour and played in green, light blue and ultra-marine. It was an extraordinarily live thing; it seemed to draw breath on her arm, so that I wanted it for myself, and made Farah buy it from her. No sooner had it come upon my arm that it gave up the ghost. It was nothing now, a small, cheap, purchased article of finery. It had been the play of colors, the duet between the turquoise and the "negre", that quick, sweet, brownish black, like peat and black pottery, of the Native's skin, that had created the life of the bracelet. ...I stood in Meru and looked at my pale hand and the dead bracelet, it was as if an injustice had been done to a noble thing, as if truth had been supressed. So sad did it seem that I remembered the saying of the hero in a book that I had read as a child: "I have conquered them all, but I am standing amongst graves."
Karen Blixen
I have sometimes come upon the Iguana, the big lizard, as they were sunning themselves upon a flat stone in a river-bed. They are not pretty in shape, but nothing can be imagined more beautiful than their colouring. They shine like a heap of precious stones or like a pane cut out of an old church window. When, as you approach, they swish away, there is a flash of azure, green and purple over the stones, the color seems to be standing behind them in the air, like a comet's luminous tail.
Once I shot an Iguana. I thought that I should be able to make some pretty things from his skin. A strange thing happened then, that I have never afterwards forgotten. As I went up to him, where he was lying dead upon his stone, and actually while I was walking the few steps, he faded and grew pale, all colour died out of him as in one long sigh, and by the time that I touched him he was grey and dull like a lump of concrete. It was the live impetuous blood pulsating within the animal, which had radiated out all that glow and splendor. Now that the flame was put out, and the soul had flown, the Iguana was as dead as a sandbag.
Blixen Karen
In the Ngong Forest I have also seen, on a narrow path through thick growth, in the middle of a very hot day, the Giant Forest Hog, a rare person to meet.


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