Seven Gothic Tales

Out Of Africa Author

Publisher HARRISON SMITH AND ROBERT HAAS
Year 1934
Edition FIRST
Printing FIRST
Pages 420
Binding Hardcover
Condition Good
$329.95

Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1934. FIRST EDITION, first printing. Cream colored boards over red cloth with gilt ornament and title to front board. Top edge dyed red. Good condition, nice and clean, slight loosening. The true first edition of Blixen's first book, her proper debut, which was published first with this US publication and then in England later the same year. (Then in a re-written edition in Danish in 1935.) The legendary Danish writer, Karen Blixen-Finecke (pseudonym: Isak Dinesen) (1885-1962), was a Danish baroness, who married her cousin, the Swedish Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, in 1914. They soon moved to Africa, where they ran a coffee-farm near Nairobi, and the happiest years of Blixen's life were spent here (she used to say: "Africa made me"). She divorced her husband, who was cheating on her and gave her syphilis, in 1922, and in 1932 she moved back to Denmark after the farm had gone bankrupt and her lover, Denys Finch-Hatton, had died in a plane-crash. She spent the remaining 30 years of her life in Denmark, and died a legendary writer.All this and more was masterfully depicted in the motion picture adaptation, Out of Africa. After she had returned to Denmark, she started properly preparing some of the stories she had been working on in Africa for publication. She used the male pseudonym Isak Dinesen so that she would be taken seriously as a writer, common for female authors of the era.. Though written under a male pseudonym, the book was not met with instant appreciation. She offered the tales to the editor Constant Huntington at Putnam's in England, but he turned them down; luckily her brother was well-connected, and within two years his acquaintance, the American writer Dorothy Canfield (who has written the introduction for the first edition), had succeeded in having the book of stories published by Robert Haas and Harrison Smith (later Random House) in America. Blixen's first book became a success and was published by Putnam's later the same year It established her reputation, and laid the foundations for her further writings, financially as well as literally. She translated the tales into Danish, and they were published thus in 1935. "In the middle of the thirties the most astonishing and perhaps greatest literary work of art from between the wars landed in Denmark - via the USA: Isak Dinesen's "Syv Fantastiske Fortællinger" (1935), re-written in Danish by the author after the English-language original, "Seven Gothic Tales" (1934). [.] This book, as well as the ones to come, was received with excitement, astonishment and respect. The importance of this work was to become fully realized during and following the war years. This was to become of great literary importance, a collections of Gothic Tales, quite unusual for the times, with the tales set about a century earlier and were both gloomy and grotesque. They were meant to startle, but not frighten the reader. They contain many magical and supernatural elements. In many ways the stories resemble those of "A Thousand and One Nights". .After her breakthrough with "Seven Gothic Tales" Blixen was considered a writer of the greatest importance, and she heavily influenced writers and cultural personas for generations to come. Many authors recognize the direct inspiration she has had on their writings. In addition to several of her woks being adapted for film, she was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice. She was elected honorary member of "The American Academy of Arts and Letters" (1957), and her portrait is printed on Danish currency. She is the most renowned of all modern Danish writers. A wonderful addition to any collection and a unique gift. 420 pages.