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With the bright gaze of fairy tales

· Important anniversaries for Karen Blixen and the Brothers Grimm ·

There is a something refreshing about the thought and places of Karen Christentze Dinesen, Baroness Von Blixen-Finecke. One of the these places is Denmark, where she died 50 years ago on 7 September 1962 and was born on 17 April 1885 in Rungstedlund at an old inn between Copenhagen and Helsingør (the city of Elsinore in Hamlet ). Today the inn is the home to a museum surrounded by nature facing the Baltic Sea, where she sailed with her siblings. Kenya, “her Africa”, where she threw herself into working at a coffee plantation from 1914 to 1931, continues to be equally evocative.

The film version, Out of Africa won, among others, an Oscar for Best Cinematography. But it is necessary to investigate the colours of Karen Blixen (who first worked as a painter), as well as the magic of her numerous stories which draw liberally and often explicitly on the rich literary patrimony of Scandinavia and beyond.

It is important to note that Africa was for her an oasis of truth in contrast to the bright world which she lived at home with passion. “Returning for a brief time in Europe, it seemed strange that in the city the people live without taking into account the phases of the moon and without noticing them. The new moon was the sign for the camel driver of Khadija to start his journey”.

Curiously enough “the purity in the truth of a frank story that nothing which is unjust conceals itself” was also the intent of the Brothers Grimm, whose first edition of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen is celebrating its 200th anniversary with various initiatives and events.




St. Peter’s Square

Feb. 28, 2020