TITANIA by Parmenia Migel


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Titania, Denys called her, though her real name was Karen Blixen and her pseudonym, Isak Dinesen, is still better known. This biography lovingly fills in her life although sometimes the author tries too hard to create an intensely dramatic ambience, and at other times the book seems unbablanced with sudden time shifts. But on the whole it is very rewarding, particularly for the reader who knows Isak Dinesen only through her books. For instance, one learns of her attachment to her father, a great romantic, who committed suicide when she was a child. Later she tried to escape the confines of a female household--first as a painter. Her marriage to Bror Blixen in 1914 dissolved after she discovered his infidelities, but she fell deeply in love with Denys, the Englishman who appears in Out of Africa. The most remarkable part of the book deals with her later life when she held a perpetual salon for young writers, developed fierce and often traumatic friendships, and exerted amazing literary and personal influence. She was called a witch, an enchantress, by many who knew her. Passionate, moody, tyrannical, she demanded much of herself and her friends--lives on here as a woman of great determination and flair.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Random House