Jeg kan se, at Karen Blixen er blevet omtalt og anmeldt i stor stil her på stedet, og det er selvfølgelig helt som det skal være. Efter at have beskæftiget mig med hendes forfatterskab gennem mange år og bl.a. også udgivet forskellige bøger og artikler om hende, er jeg overbevist om, at hun er en af dem, der bliver stående i litteraturhistorien.
Netop derfor kan det være af interesse også at mindes hendes sekretær og fortrolige, cand.mag. Clara Selborn. Artiklen her er en kopi af den, jeg har udgivet på EZINE, og den er også gengivet i min bog "A World of Weird Truths and Truthful Weirdnesses" (AuthorHouse, 2011):
"Clara Selborn (born Svendsen) was the secretary of the famous Danish writer Karen Blixen (pen name Isak Dinesen) who e.g. wrote "Seven Gothic Tales" (1934), "Out of Africa" (1937/38), "Winter's Tales" (1942/43) and "Last Tales" (1957). In a way Clara was a very famous person as she was known as the shadowy secretary who, however, played an important role in the life of the writer. Many wondered at her because Clara always was her own person, someone who lived by her own rules. I knew her quite well as we were friends for many years until we sadly enough fell out. However, even though we did not meet after that we corresponded until she died on the 1st of April 2009.
What set Clara apart was her strong idealism. She wanted to find a cause or a person to serve. In Karen Blixen she found both, but before that happened she has tried to attain the role of a serving spirit with someone else who turned her down, maybe because there was some suspicions that she was out to secure herself a husband. Actually, Clara had, as she told me, long ago chosen never to marry, but only live for the causes she served.
Karen Blixen was her main cause, but another one was Lord Byron whom she admired very much, a third one was Israel and the Jewish people and still another one was the Catholic Church. When I asked her why she, as the only one in her family, had become a Catholic she answered that it was because of the beautiful and colourful liturgy. To me that was a strange answer as I was much more into ideas and ideologies than that kind of outward manifestations of a religious faith. I felt the same about Lord Byron whose poetry I did not find very deep, but she enjoyed the sheer beauty of it.
After Karen Blixen's death in 1962 she became the literary executor of her works. That meant that it was her responsibility to see to it that the best deals were obtained when they were republished or translated into yet another language. Also she became a member of the committee of Rundstedlundfondet (The Foundation of Rungstedlund) which furnished her with yet another kind of responsibility. To make ends meet she also worked as a translator, e.g. of some of the Blixen-scripts that were published in Danish after her death. However, the main bulk of her many translations was of Graham Greene, but her flagship, so to speak, was Tomasi di Lampedusa's "The Leopard". She also wrote her autobiography, "Notater om Karen Blixen" (1974: Not translated, except into German) and collaborated in several works about Karen Blixen and her work.
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