Book Nook, The Wilmington News-Journal (Wilmington, Ohio) 12 January 1959, p 5
BOOK NOOK e’ Isak Dinesen, the distinguished Daniidi author, arrived in New York Jan. 4 for her first visit to tiiis country. Her trip, arranged by The Fund for the Advancement (rf Education, is under the auspices (rf Hie Encyclopedia Britannica. While here Miss Dinesen will make a series of filmed talks based upon some of the tales from her various works for the Britannica educational film series. Miss Dinesen will also speak before the Institute of Contemporary Arts and be honored at a dinner given by the Academy of Arts and Letters late in January. In 1934, whf'n Isak Dinesen’s first book was published in this country, though her editor, Robert Haas of Random House, recognized that her talent was unique and of extraordinary quality, the most he hoped for was a success d’estime. Instead, “Seven Gothic Tales” was chosen as a Book-of- the-Month Club Selection and overnight became a best seller. Dorothy Canfield Fisher, speaking for the Book-of-the-Month Club Board of Judges, said of ‘Seven Gothic Tales’ ”. . . . we .see a series of vigorously presented, outrageously unexpected, sometimes horrifying, but perfectly real human beings. . . . Perhaps you will allow me, as a Vermonter, to fall ! back on the New England language of understatement as my final report on these stories, and as.sure you that in my opinion it will be worth your while to read them.” At that time all that was known about the pseudonymous Isak Din- j esen was that he—or she—was a I Continental fmropean, writing in - English though that was not native to his pen and that he did not wish his identity revealed. In spite of the success of “Seven Gothic Talcs,” the author was still determined to avoid any publicity and for months she managed to preserve her anpnymity, but finally the pressure of readers’ curiosity became so great, the secret had to come out. Only then was it revealed that Isak Dinesen was not, as her name suggested, a man, but Baroness Karen BUxen of RungstedJand, Denmark. 'The Baroness comes of an old Danish country family, and in writing she is carrying on its tradition for her father—bom Isak Dinesen—who before her had made a considerable contribution to Danish literature. He served as an army officer in more than one war, and later, tired of fighting, went to America and lived for some years as a trapper with the Pawnee Indians in Minnesota. On his return to Denmark he wrote two books under the pen-name of Boganis, as he had been called by his red-skinned friends. In 1914 Miss Dinesen married her cousin. Baron Blixen, and , w'ent with him to British East .Afri- I ca, where they establi.shed and ! succes.sfully operated a coffee j plantation. In 1921 they were di- j vorced, but she continued to man- I age the plantation for another ten I years, until the collapse of the cof- I fee market forced her to sell her property and return to Denmark. Her second book, “Out of Africa.” Mondoy, Jan. 12, 1959 WUrnttigtoa. Ntl nSHii MAN — Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie FHsher ar» mapped dining out in a reatauran^ In Beverly Hills, Calif. recorded many of her experiences in the Colony, was again a selection oi the Book-of-the-Month Club, and again was received with enthusiasm by critics and readers alike. • • • EVER SINCE her return to Denmark in 1931, Miss Dinesen has lived a'life of seclusion. Sometimes to get relief from hou.sehold responsibilities so that she can write without into ruption, she .<;ay:j with kinsfolk in an unused wing of some famous old manor—she is re I lated, by birth or marriage, to half I the noble families of Denmark. I Sometimes she slips away to an obscure village inn to do her writing. There, incognito, she enjoys the conversation of provincial com mercial travelers and the compan- ionship of eight and nine-year-old schoollwys, with whom she plays cards for Imaginary high stakes. For many years, she has declined invitations to visit this country. Finally Alvin Eurich, the d- rector of The Fund for the Advancement of Educaton, a philanthropic organization established by the Ford Foundation, sucessful- ly persuaded her to make the trip by pointing out liow valuable her filmed talli.s would be to educational in.stilutions the world over. Besides “Seven Gothic Tales” and “Out of Mnca,” Mi.ss Dinesen IS the author of “Winter’s Tales.” also a Book-ot-the-Mon1h Club selection, “I.a.st Tales” and the recently published “Anecdotes of Destiny.” It is not generally known that $139,764 in Poor Relief Received Clinton county received $139,764.36 of the total outlay of $47,676.740 the state paid in 1958 poor relief funds, James A. Rhodes, .stale auditor, announced today. This represents a sizeable increase over 1957 payments w'hen the state disbiir.sed a total of $32,383,726 to Ohio’s needy. Reflecting the hard.ships of the 1958 recession, the outlay represents a total high payment. 'This was in addition to the millions pro- she has u.sed still another penname — Pierre Andrezel—but in this case less from motives of maintaining her privacy than to employ her great literary gifts to thwart and taunt the oppressors of her native land. In 1944, as Pierre Andrezel she published “The Angelic Avengers,’’ a novel which on one level told a fascinating ! story of mystery, adventure and young love, and on another was a bold and total condemnation of the Na/i conquerors in whose power Denmark then lay helpless. Only alter it had ticen published , in America, making the fourth I lime one of her books had been chosen as a Book-of-the-Monlh Club selection, wa.s Miss Dinesen’s , authorship revealed. ' READ THE CLASSIFIED ADS , I ■y r, H '