Longing for Darkness: Kamante's Tales from Out of Africa. With original photographs (January 1914-July 1931) and quotations from Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen).
Beard, Peter H
. Chronicle Books . San Francisco
DT433.542.K35 1990 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
MetadataShow full item record
Earlier I was very surprised to see this out-of-print book available as a paperback. Now I have been surprised to find it also available hardbound. And the price was right! Let me repeat soime of my comments from the 1975 Harcourt original. A weird and wonderful find! What we have here is the product of a complex process. Kamante Gatura related the tales to Beard, who transcribed them and gave them to Kamante's sons to translate and then to write out by hand. The final chapter claims to be Kamante's versions of some twenty-one fables that Dinesen told. Several, like FG and OF, seem to be heavily dependent on Caxton, but then OF here ends with a bursting frog, whereas Caxton had the ox step on the frog. Are the charming, simple watercolors illustrating them really Kamante's own? The best of the illustrations for me are OF, GA, FK, The Antelope, the Monkey, and the Leopard, and TH. Two things are especially charming here: the scriptos (or whatever handwritten typos are), and the transposition of animals; thus Piraeus becomes Mombasa, and The Fox and the Eagle becomes The Jackal and the Vulture. A real favorite of mine! Again, the renditions of the colored fable illustrations are excellent! This book remains a treasure!