Sorrow-Acre Criticism

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Critical reaction to Winter's Tales must be seen through two lenses: present and past. Although she is now considered a major twentieth-century writer, Dinesen was, for a time, essentially forgotten. The revival of interest in her as a writer can be attributed in large part to Sydney Pollack's film version of Out of Africa. As a result, one cannot speak of a single critical reaction, but must instead consider two reactions: those of her contemporaries and those of the post-revival critics. Interestingly, each group seems to have seized upon very different facets of her writing as most worthy of comment. For the most part, earlier critics were more interested in her stylistic accomplishments, for example, Orville Prescott, writing in the New York Times, called her style "elaborately artificial, formal, suave, and beautiful," while William Sansom wrote in the Saturday Review that she "gives us tales of...

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