ANECDOTES OF DESTINY
Seven Gothic Tales set a mold from which it is difficult for Isak Dinesen to escape the demands and expectations of her readers. Here again are stories with a suggestion of the "Gothic". There is the perfection of design, the sense of brooding fate, the intricacy of motivation, and a kind of remoteness that marks all of her writing. Here is no concession to formulas of today. Each of these five stories bears the hallmark of Isak Dinesen. The Diver is an ironical tale of a young theological student who thought his fate belonged with the birds- and the angels. When human jokers tricked him into betrayal, he sought instead, the secrets of the deeps. Babette's Feast is this reader's favorite of the five:- the story of the mysterious French maid of all work who chose to fulfill her genius as a great artist creating one perfect meal, even though-with two exceptions- the staid Norwegian guests refused to acknowledge it. Tempests is a tragic romance, in the story of a young and promising actress who feels herself condemned to fulfill completely the destiny decreed in Shakespeare's Tempest. The Immortal Story tells how an immensely rich and lonely tea-trader endeavored to make a story told by all sailors come true. The Ring is an oddment- a brief story of a bride of high estate who married beneath her -- and who on her honeymoon had an experience that persuaded her that the end of her marriage had come before it had well begun..