Betty w.'s Reviews > Out of Africa

Out of Africa by Karen Blixen
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Jun 06, 09

Read in August, 2007

I like Dinesen's descriptive writing. She is a poet. Though written from a colonist view point she did feel at home in Africa and I think the land spoke to her soul and her new sense of identity that she found there. My favorite quote is where she writes of the sadness of relocating the natives to the Kikuyu Reserve from their homeland on her white owned farm when she was forced to sell it. She writes: " I felt that they were not asking for a place to live on but, that they were demanding their existance of me.".. for "it is more than their land that you take away from the people, whose native land you take. It is their past as well, their roots and their identity." (pg .375 )This verse resonated with me as I recently lost a part of my roots when my parents sold an Alaskan homestead that had been in our family for 48 years. As I wrapped my arms around the smooth paper birch in the hay field and lay in the lupines listening to the bumble bees one last time my warm mosquito days of childhood came back vividly. Isak Dinesen was miles away from her ancestral home of Denmark when she experienced her story of "Out of Africa" yet she felt at home in Kenya and left a part of herself when she moved on. Beautiful writing.
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Augusta Betty:) "she had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong hills" and you had a"place of your own" as well as the homestead on the Kenai Peninsula. Indeed this book and this woman would resonate within the very warp and weft of all that is you. I nearly wept (seriously!) reading your description of last moments on the land that I too felt a deep connection to. I love Dinesen. I love the very music in the form of her words that come to mind nearly 30 years after I first read her novel...and I too like to think perhaps a wolf or a beautiful bear might repose upon a certain rise where a cabin once stood. Alaska like Africa "hears a song" of those who seek a level of intimate belonging and to see the land in one's own heart is to know the land as God intended. I love that you are on goodreads! We love (at the very least) 3 of the same wordsmiths and storytellers:) And I love you!

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