Day 123 of Colourisation Project – September 7
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
She first came to public attention with Seven Gothic Tales (1934) published by America’s Random House after she was unable to find a publisher in England or Denmark.she wrote under her pen name Isak Dinesen. Though most readers thought she was a man, her enigmatic and sometimes erotic tales captured the minds of American readers with each tale set in another era, and involving a case of mistaken identity and an unexpected ending.
followed soon after in 1937, firmly establishing Blixen as an author. In 1939 she was given the Tagea Brandt Rejselegat, Denmark’s highest accolade for women in the arts or academic life.
According to Blixen, she saw herself as a traditional storyteller in the way of the oral tradition of telling stories and drew her inspiration from the Bible, the Arabian Nights, the works of Homer, Boccaccio, Don Quixote, the Icelandic sagas and the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen.
She was awarded the Danish Ingenio et Arti medal in 1950. Much of her work was published posthumously. Released first in English then later in Danish, her work is still published in many languages.
Her popularity as an author was revived in 1985, when Out of Africa was translated onto the big screen with Meryl Streep cast as Blixen and Robert Redford portraying her hunter lover, Hatton.
Two years later in 1987, Babette’s Feast became the first Danish film of a Blixen story. It was also the first Danish film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
A 2007 opinion poll in Denmark lists Karen Blixen as one of the most representative personalities in Danish history. She was several times nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Although never awarded the prize, she was recognized by other literary giants. Ernest Hemingway graciously said in 1954 that she should have won the prize instead of him. She finished in third place behind Graham Greene in 1961.
Blixen continued writing up until her death in 1962 at the age of 77 of malnutrition.
Blixen left an indelible impression in Nairobi. Karen, the suburb of Nairobi where she made her home and operated her coffee plantation was named after her. The Karen Blixen Coffee House and Museum is located in Karen and her home in Denmark has been converted to the Karen Blixen Museet.
“A visitor is a friend, he brings news, good or bad, which is bread to the hungry minds in lonely places. A real friend who comes to the house is a heavenly messenger, who brings the panis angelorum.” ― Karen Blixen, Out of Africa