portrait of Isak Dinesen
On safari (1918)

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Quotes of the Day for 17 April 2004 – Isak Dinesen

Karen Christence Dinesen was born at Rungsted, Denmark on this day in 1885, and raised on her family's estate. She attended the Royal Academy of Art at Copenhagen, and also studied in England, Switzerland, Italy, and France, and wrote several short stories as early as 1904. In 1914 she married a cousin, Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, and the couple went to Kenya where they owned a coffee plantation. The marriage didn't last, but Karen continued to run the plantation until 1931 when the recession and the falling price of coffee caused her to lose her farm. She returned to Denmark and decided to become a writer, further deciding that English would be the most profitable language and creating the pseudonym Isak Dinesen. Against all odds, her first book (Seven Gothic Tales) was published and became a Book of the Month Club selection. Out of Africa, a story based on her Kenya experience, was only the first of her works to become movies, Babette's Feast is the most recent.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

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.

Love won't be tampered with, love won't go away. Push it to one side and it creeps to the other.

The cure for anything is salt water-sweat, tears, or the sea.

The entire being of a woman is a secret which should be kept.

Within our whole universe the story only has the authority to answer that cry of heart of its characters, that one cry of heart of each of them: "Who am I?"

God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.
     - All from Isak Dinesen, pen name of Karen Blixen, 1885 - 1962

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