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401 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 1937
“I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”From its first sentence Out of Africa captivated me. It was enchanting, old-fashioned, poignant, wistful and insightful. Karen Blixen’s story of her life in Africa, a series of reminiscences from 1914 to 1931, portrays her love for that country – the people, the land, the animals. It has a fairy tale quality at times. Blixen is a master story-teller; it’s easy to understand why Denys Finch Hatton loved to hear her recount her stories.
"It was not I who was going away, I did not have it in my power to leave Africa, but it was the country that was slowly and gravely withdrawing from me, like the sea in ebb-tide. The procession that was passing here,--it was in reality my strong pulpy young dancers of yesterday and the day before yesterday, who were withering before my eyes, who were passing away for ever. They were going in their own style, gently in a dance, the people were with me, and I with the people, well content.'Highly recommended!
“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”
“It is a sad hardship and slavery to people who live in towns, that in their movements they know of one dimension only; they walk along the line as if they were led on a string. The transition from the line to the plane into the two dimensions, when you wander across a field or through a wood, is a splendid liberation to the slaves, like the French Revolution. But in the air you are taken into the full freedom of the three dimensions; after long ages of exile and dreams the homesick heart throws itself into the arms of space.”
"Here I am, where I ought to be.”
“When you have caught the rhythm of Africa, you find out that it is the same in all her music.”
"As they had become used to the idea of poetry, they begged: "Speak again. Speak like rain." Why they should feel verse to be like rain I do not know."
“People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue.”
"Kepler writes of what he felt when, after many years' work, he at last found the laws of the movements of the planets: "I give myself over to my rapture. The die is cast. Nothing I have ever felt before is like this. I tremble, my blood leaps. God has waited six thousand years for a looker-on to his work. His wisdom is infinite, that of which we are ignorant is contained in him, as well as the little that we know."
"So sad did it seem that I remembered the saying of the hero in a book that I had read as a child: "I have conquered them all, but I am standing amongst graves."
"The Masai when they were moved from their old country, North of the railway line, to the present Masai Reserve, took with them the names of their hills, plains and rivers; and gave them to the hills, plains and rivers in the new country."
"perhaps the white men of the past, indeed of any past, would have been in better understanding and sympathy with the coloured races than we, of our Industrial Age, shall ever be. When the first steam engine was constructed, the roads of the races of the world parted, and we have never found one another since."
“Up at Meru I saw a young Native girl with a bracelet on, a leather strap two inches wide, and embroidered all over with very small turquoise-coloured beads which varied a little in colour and played in green, light blue, and ultramarine. It was an extraordinarily live thing; it seemed to draw breath on her arm, so that I wanted it for myself, and made Farah buy it from her. No sooner had it come upon my own arm than it gave up the ghost. It was nothing now, a small, cheap, purchased article of finery. It had been the play of colours, the duet between the turquoise and the 'nègre' - that quick, sweet, brownish black, like peat and black pottery, of the Native's skin - that had created the life of the bracelet.”