Neal's Reviews > Out of Africa

Out of Africa by Karen Blixen
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's review
Sep 09, 12

Read from September 08 to 09, 2012

What an incredibly beautiful book. Dinesen (Karen Blixen) writes so evocatively of her farm near Nairobi, Kenya that I could smell it and feel the African winds on my face. If only I could travel back to the early Twentieth Century and experience it with her. She writes movingly of her time there, and it's like the most wonderful romance. Of romance, you must read between the lines to get the full depth of her love for adventurer Denys Finch-Hatton, but it's all there.

For a good part of the book, I was troubled by the way she writes about the Native Africans who populate her farm and the surrounding environs. To our contemporary sensibilities, her manner of thinking about them is quite racist. However, a deeper reading convinces me that the stereotypes and conventions she describes are not inherently racist, only a reflection of the world view that a European settler of her time would have had. In fact, she is describing pan-cultural differences as she sees them. She doesn't comment that the African's ways are inferior, in fact, they are only different to her, remarkable.

I highly, highly recommend this lyrical book.

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Reading Progress

09/08/2012 page 210

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