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On modern marriage, and other observations /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: St. Martin's Press, 1986
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Review by Booklist Review

Inspired by her own failing marriage and her infatuation with Denys Finch Hatton, as well as by her brother's participation in the World League for Sexual Reform, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) wrote this introspective essay seeking to redefine marriage. The text includes several quaint, temporal references, such as a controversy over ``ladies corsetless dresses,'' but on the whole it presents a thoughtful and surprisingly liberated approach to love, marriage, and sexuality. Dinesen's philosophizing is not nearly so captivating as her fiction, but the popularity of her stories and, of course, her recently filmed autobiography, Out of Africa, guarantees an audience for this less accessible but still satisfying work. Introductory and appended notes further illuminate the composition of the essay and its place in Dinesen's writings. DPD. 306.8'1 Marriage / Love [OCLC] 86-13862

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Dinesen wrote this essay in 1923 as a long letter to her brother Thomas. Only when love rules can one talk of real marriage, she argued. She had been reading Shaw, particularly his prefaces, and the essay is definitely Shavian in tone, though it lacks Shaw's brilliant logic, depth of argument, and wit. In fact, it is uneven and rather forced. Yet it gives a philosophical background to Dinesen's life (in 1923 her marriage to Bror Blixen was shaky and she had already met and fallen in love with English aristocrat/adventurer Denys Finch Hatton) and work, especially her Out of Africa (Random, 1938) and her short story collections Winter's Tales (Random, 1942) and Shadows on the Grass (Random, 1961). The afterword is excellent. Recommended for special collections. Marcia G. Fuchs, Guilford Free Lib., Ct. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Isak Dinesen was born Karen Christentze Dinesen in Rungsted, Denmark on April 17, 1885. She studied English at Oxford University and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. During her lifetime, she wrote plays, short stories, novels, poetry, and nonfiction works. Her career as a writer spanned from 1907 to 1962. She was published in Danish under the name of Karen Blixen and in English under the pseudonym of Isak Dinesen. Her short story collections include Seven Gothic Tales, Winter Tales, and Last Tales. Her nonfiction book, Out of Africa, was published in 1937 and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Meryl Streep in 1985. She died of emaciation September 7, 1962.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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