The Monkey, The Dreamers, and The Poet were my three favorites among the seven. What Blixen seems to explore most is our relationship to the past. Often characters seem to understand those gone from their lives through others or their own romanticized accounts of them. Identities, perhaps most explicitly in The Monkey, shift beneath moon-lit masks, shatter like a mansion's stained-glass window, and morph in dark forests on stormy nights. Exotic treasures, locations, and myths—snake-charming, hashish-smoking storytellers, brazen golden amulets and coral necklaces, double-rainbow landscapes— are called upon by Blixen to spellbind and suggest, to me, that life back then—but still now—is a little bit more beautiful and strange than meets the eye. [JG]
Blixen made just one trip to the United States in 1959 when she was already in poor health, but during her time was able to meet Marilyn Monroe, pictured here, and share some of her drafts of her to-be-published work Ehrengard. She is buried on her family estate Rungstedlund located just outside Copenhagen.