Scandinavian ideals, author, Denmark


The year 2005 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen and the 150th anniversary of the death of Soren Kierkegaard. It also is the 120th anniversary of Karen Blixen' s birth in 1885, and it is appropriate to talk about her at this conference. For the millions of Americans who have seen the movie Out of Africa, she may be the most famous Dane of all. We often imagine Karen Blixen as personified by Meryl Streep in the movie. But if you have read the book Out of Africa, you may rather think of Karen Blixen simply as a Danish settler in Kenya in the turn of the 1900s. She also is well remembered as the celebrated author who visited New York City in 1959, where she caused a stir as such a frail yet vigorous storyteller.