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Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard Paperback – June 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In the classic "Babette's Feast," a mysterious Frenchwoman prepares a sumptuous feast for a gathering of religious ascetics and, in doing so, introduces them to the true essence of grace. In "The Immortal Story," a miserly old tea-trader living in Canton wishes for power and finds redemption as he turns an oft-told sailors' tale into reality for a young man and woman. And in the magnificent novella Ehrengard, Dinesen tells of the powerful yet restrained rapport between a noble Wagnerian beauty and a rakish artist.
Hauntingly evoked and sensuously realized, the five stories and novella collected here have the hold of "fairy stories read in childhood...of dreams...and of our life as dreams" (The New York Times).
"[Dinesen's] imagination could visit, it seemed, any corner of European history and find there a tale tinged with the luster and vivid shadowing of medieval allegory." -- John Updike
Top Customer Reviews
If any writer comes close to the unforced magic of those stories no-one ever had to write, it must be Isak Dinesen. Sadly her output of fiction was small: this book, "Seven Gothic Tales", "Winter's Tales", "Last Tales", and her novel, the curious "Angelic Avengers", not quite a parody but not exactly serious, an entire book written in inverted commas.
Is there such a thing as Destiny? Do our intertwining lives somehow form a pattern like an inconceivably vast parquet-floor? Looking around I'm forced to say, No. But the creators of the "Arabian Nights" thought so, and Karen Blixen, at least when she turned into Isak Dinesen, clearly agreed with them, or tried to. Perhaps that's why she liked to dwell in the past, usually the late 18th or early 19th centuries, when it still seemed credible that a life might form an intricate shape, as if poured into a mould.
These stories are conceived and executed with a skill as dazzling as lightning and as quiet as summer grass. You feel she could amaze the reader far more if she chose, but that her profound courtesy prevents her. When she pauses for a moment to explain how her characters feel or why they react the way they do, she tells you things so piercingly correct that you feel almost shocked. At the bottom of these stories is a mystery that is not at all philosophical, a sadness that is not tragic, a poetry not made up of beautiful words, and a wisdom like that of a child who says things that she herself doesn't understand.
I would recommend reading it, especially if you like short stories. You can't really lose with Dinesen if you enjoy beautiful language. I'm looking forward to watching the movie 'Babette's Feast' now. It was my favorite story in the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Babette's Feast is one of my favorite movies and I wanted to see how closely it was adapted from Dinesens writing. Wow it is so amazing how true it is...beautiful. Read morePublished 1 month ago by bee
I enjoyed the author's writing very much. My husband particularly loves the writing of this specific author. Thanks so much for offering this book on Amazon!Published 13 months ago by Zipperspring
Book in great condition; fast ship; good value! Easy buying experience!Published 19 months ago by WFFB
good condition. no writing inside. book cover's edges are a little worn out but overall pretty goodPublished 23 months ago by purpleladynn
Babette's Feast alone is worth the price. Judith Thurman's biography of Dinesen offers interesting analysis of selected stories, as have other writers.Published on May 7, 2014 by James Travis
I have read most of Izak Dinesen's work. A couple I have read twice. I am currently reading Babette's Feast, which is one of the stories in this book. Read morePublished on March 29, 2014 by Kai Jensen
This is a collection of wonderful tales by the great author of 'Out of Africa'. She is my very favorite author...of all time. Read morePublished on March 12, 2014 by Bay Buyer