Born on April 17, 1885, Isak Dinesen (aka Baroness Karen von Blixen) was the Danish author of "Out of Africa" and many, many stories, some of which have been made into film (e.g. "Babette's Feast").
According to Isak Dinesen, The Life of a Storyteller by Judith Thurman, Dinesen and Finch Hatton were great fans of Baudelaire, and "Friends remember that Denys and Tania liked to experiment with the sensations hashish, opium, or miraa could give them. Denys arranged the cushions on the floor before the fire and reclined there, playing his guitar. Tania sat 'cross-legged like Scheherazade herself' and told him stories." (Miraa is kava, an indigenous African herb that has a mild hallucinogenic effect. Dinesen refers to it in her story "The Dreamers" by its other name, murungu.) In another of her tales, "The Monkey," an old abbess drugs her dinner guests with a love potion, leading to an evening of "exalted lewdness" (Thurman).
|Streep as Dinesen in the film "Out of Africa" |
with Robert Redford as Finch Hatton.
Dinesen died in 1962, but her stories live on. Read more about Very Important Pothead Isak Dinesen.