by Marianne T. Stecher
A book that addresses the many essays of Karen Blixen (1885-1962), and demonstrates the 'creative dialectic' method used throughout her works. Karen Blixen's essays often reflect on three significant challenges of the twentieth century: Feminism, Nazism and Colonialism.
The book demonstrates that a "creative dialectic" informs these essays, an interplay of complementary opposites that Blixen sees as fundamental to human life and artistic creativity. Whether exploring questions of gender and the status of the feminist movement, or the reign of National Socialism in Hitler’s Germany, or colonial race relations under British rule in East Africa, Blixen’s observations are insightful, witty, and surprisingly progressive for an author notable for aristocratic sensibilities. Blixen’s essays are also framed by a "dialectic method," which develops an idea by drawing on opposing viewpoints in order to arrive at an original vantage point. The Creative Dialectic of Karen Blixen's Essays builds on archival research, historical study, literary criticism and theory, as well as bilingual readings of Blixen’s renowned literary work.
"A very illuminating book which traces the pattern of the ‘creative dialectic’ into Karen Blixen's essays on three significant currents of the 20th Century: Feminism, Nazism, and Colonialism. This study elucidates Blixen's originality in dealing with these precarious issues." Lasse Horne Kjældgaard, Danish Society of Language and Literature.