Sly's Reviews > Out of Africa

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
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Jan 04, 10

it was amazing
Read in January, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Imagery beyond mortal imagination is captured by Dinesens descriptive naratives. I felt as though God, himself, was painting on canvass as her words spilled from the page. Here are the three quotes that I read and re-read:

1.) "The cicada sing an endless song in the long grass, smells run along the earth and falling stars run over the sky, like tears over a cheek. YOu are the privileged person to whom everything is taken. The Kings of Tarshish shall bring gifts." *from II, A shooting Accident on the Farm, chapter one.

2.) "How beautiful were the evenings of the Masai Reserve when after sunset, we arrived at the river or the water-hole where we were to outspan, traveling in a long file. The plains with the thorn trees on them were already quite dark, but the air was filled with clarity, --and over our heads to the west, a single star which was to grow big and radiant on the course of the night was now just visible, like a silver point in the sky of citrine topaz. The air was cold to the lungs, the long grass dripping wet and the herbs on it gave out their spiced astringent scent. In a little while on all sides, the cicada would begin to sing. The grass was me, and the air. The distant invisible mountains were me the tired oxen were me. I breathed with the slight night-wind in the thorn-trees." * from IV, An Immigrant's Notebook, A war-time safari (chapter 11.)

3.) And finally, lamenting the sad vision she saw of two giraffes that were crated and on their way by ship to a traveling menagerie in Germany, Dinesen wrote,
"In the long years before them, will the Giraffes sometimes have dreams of their lost country? Where have they gone to, the grass and the thorn-trees, the rivers and water-holes and the blue mountains? The high, sweet air over the plains has lifted and withdrawn. Where have the other Giraffes gone to, that were side by side with them when they set going, and cantered over the undulating land? They have left them, they have all gone, and it seems that they are never coming back." *from An Immigrant's Notebook, The Giraffes Go To Hamburg (chapter 25.)
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Quotes Sly Liked

Karen Blixen
“The Cicada sing an endless song in the long grass, smells run along the earth and falling stars run over the sky, like tears over a cheek. You are the privileged person to whom everything is taken. The Kings of Tarshish shall bring gifts.”
Karen Blixen, Out of Africa


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