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.