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Isak Dinesen Quotes

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Isak Dinesen Quote: “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.

— Isak Dinesen



Isak Dinesen Quote: “You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.”

You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.”

Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “To be a person is to have a story to tell.”

To be a person is to have a story to tell.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.”

Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.”

When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.”

You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne – bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”

There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne – bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me a chance to do my best.”

Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me a chance to do my best.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “We must leave our mark on life while we have it in our power.”

We must leave our mark on life while we have it in our power.

— Isak Dinesen



Isak Dinesen Quote: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”

I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”

I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “And I had by now become used to the idea of witchcraft, it seemed a reasonable thing, so many things are about, at night, in Africa.”

And I had by now become used to the idea of witchcraft, it seemed a reasonable thing, so many things are about, at night, in Africa.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “And were my faith so strong that it could move mountains, that is the mountain that I would make come to me.”

And were my faith so strong that it could move mountains, that is the mountain that I would make come to me.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Be not afraid of absurdity; do not shrink from the fantastic. Within a dilemma, choose the most unheard-of, the most dangerous solution. Be brave, be brave.”

Be not afraid of absurdity; do not shrink from the fantastic. Within a dilemma, choose the most unheard-of, the most dangerous solution. Be brave, be brave.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Where the storyteller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness. But we, the faithful, when we have spoken our last word, will hear the voice of silence.”

Where the storyteller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness. But we, the faithful, when we have spoken our last word, will hear the voice of silence.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “It’s an odd feeling-farewell-there is some envy in it. Men go off to be tested for courage and if we’re tested at all, it’s for patience, for doing without, for how well we can endure loneliness.”

It’s an odd feeling-farewell-there is some envy in it. Men go off to be tested for courage and if we’re tested at all, it’s for patience, for doing without, for how well we can endure loneliness.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Coffee, according to the women of Denmark, is to the body what the Word of the Lord is to the soul.”

Coffee, according to the women of Denmark, is to the body what the Word of the Lord is to the soul.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.”

If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “I start with a tingle, a kind of feeling of the story I will write. Then come the characters, and they take over, they make the story.”

I start with a tingle, a kind of feeling of the story I will write. Then come the characters, and they take over, they make the story.

— Isak Dinesen



Isak Dinesen Quote: “All suffering is bearable if it is seen as part of a story.”

All suffering is bearable if it is seen as part of a story.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.”

God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?”

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “There are times of great beauty on a coffee farm. When the plantation flowered in the beginning of the rains, it was a radiant sight, like a cloud of chalk, in the mist of the drizzling rain.”

There are times of great beauty on a coffee farm. When the plantation flowered in the beginning of the rains, it was a radiant sight, like a cloud of chalk, in the mist of the drizzling rain.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “I don’t believe in evil; I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the blights and the ants and the maggots.”

I don’t believe in evil; I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the blights and the ants and the maggots.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “The Cicada sing an endless song in the long grass, smells run along the earth and falling stars run over the sky, like tears over a cheek. You are the privileged person to whom everything is taken. The Kings of Tarshish shall bring gifts.”

The Cicada sing an endless song in the long grass, smells run along the earth and falling stars run over the sky, like tears over a cheek. You are the privileged person to whom everything is taken. The Kings of Tarshish shall bring gifts.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Real art must always involve some witchcraft.”

Real art must always involve some witchcraft.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “It is more than their land that you take away from the people, whose native land you take. It is their past as well, their roots and their identity. If you take away the things that they have been used to see and will be expecting to see, you may, in a way, as well take their eyes.”

It is more than their land that you take away from the people, whose native land you take. It is their past as well, their roots and their identity. If you take away the things that they have been used to see and will be expecting to see, you may, in a way, as well take their eyes.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “To set sail somewhere is more important than life itself.”

To set sail somewhere is more important than life itself.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages...”

If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages...

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Here I am, where I am supposed to be.”

Here I am, where I am supposed to be.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “When you have caught the rhythm of Africa, you find out that it is the same in all her music.”

When you have caught the rhythm of Africa, you find out that it is the same in all her music.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Some people have an unconquerable love of riddles. They may have the chance of listening to plain sense, or to such wisdom that explains life; but no, they must go and work their brains over a riddle, just because they do not understand what it means.”

Some people have an unconquerable love of riddles. They may have the chance of listening to plain sense, or to such wisdom that explains life; but no, they must go and work their brains over a riddle, just because they do not understand what it means.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “There is something about Safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows.”

There is something about Safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “One must in this lower world love many things to know finally what one loves the best...”

One must in this lower world love many things to know finally what one loves the best...

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “I do not think that I could ever really love a woman who had not, at one time or another, been up on a broomstick.”

I do not think that I could ever really love a woman who had not, at one time or another, been up on a broomstick.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “In the mind and nature of a man a secret is an ugly thing, like a hidden physical defect.”

In the mind and nature of a man a secret is an ugly thing, like a hidden physical defect.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Africa, amongst the continents, will teach it to you: that God and the Devil are one, the majesty coeternal, not two uncreated but one uncreated, and the Natives neither confounded the persons nor divided the substance.”

Africa, amongst the continents, will teach it to you: that God and the Devil are one, the majesty coeternal, not two uncreated but one uncreated, and the Natives neither confounded the persons nor divided the substance.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “All sorrows can be borne if you can put them into a story.”

All sorrows can be borne if you can put them into a story.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Now, looking back on my life in Africa, I feel that it might altogether be described as the existence of a person who had come from a rushed and noisy world, into a still country.”

Now, looking back on my life in Africa, I feel that it might altogether be described as the existence of a person who had come from a rushed and noisy world, into a still country.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “In those days I had various strong inclinations, for wine, gambling and cockfighting, and the society of gypsies, together with a passion for theological discussion which I had inherited from my father himself-all of which my father thought I had better rid myself of before I married.”

In those days I had various strong inclinations, for wine, gambling and cockfighting, and the society of gypsies, together with a passion for theological discussion which I had inherited from my father himself-all of which my father thought I had better rid myself of before I married.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “The best of my nature reveals itself in play, and play is sacred.”

The best of my nature reveals itself in play, and play is sacred.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “To me, the explanation of life seems to be its melody, its pattern. And I feel in life such an infinite, truly inconceivable fantasy.”

To me, the explanation of life seems to be its melody, its pattern. And I feel in life such an infinite, truly inconceivable fantasy.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Man reaches the highest point of lovableness at 12 to 17 – to get it back, in a second flowering, at the age of 70 to 90.”

Man reaches the highest point of lovableness at 12 to 17 – to get it back, in a second flowering, at the age of 70 to 90.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “Truth, like time, is an idea arising from, and dependent upon, human intercourse.”

Truth, like time, is an idea arising from, and dependent upon, human intercourse.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “For really, dreaming is the well-mannered people’s way of committing suicide.”

For really, dreaming is the well-mannered people’s way of committing suicide.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “I have a feeling that wherever I may be in the future, I will be wondering whether there is rain at Ngong.”

I have a feeling that wherever I may be in the future, I will be wondering whether there is rain at Ngong.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “A giraffe is so much a lady that one refrains from thinking of her legs, but remembers her as floating over the plains in long garb, draperies of morning mist her mirage.”

A giraffe is so much a lady that one refrains from thinking of her legs, but remembers her as floating over the plains in long garb, draperies of morning mist her mirage.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “I have been trying for a long time to understand God. Now I have made friends with him. To love him truly you must love change, and you must love a joke, these being the true inclinations of his own heart.”

I have been trying for a long time to understand God. Now I have made friends with him. To love him truly you must love change, and you must love a joke, these being the true inclinations of his own heart.

— Isak Dinesen


Isak Dinesen Quote: “It is when people are told their own thoughts that they think they are being insulted.”

It is when people are told their own thoughts that they think they are being insulted.

— Isak Dinesen

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