Bookends: Feb. 9, 1987

ON MODERN MARRIAGE

by Isak Dinesen

St. Martin's; 134 pages; $12.95

It is a double irony that Isak Dinesen, who hid behind pseudonyms and coveted the Nobel Prize, is currently better known for her life than for her art. For the film of Out of Africa was itself a masque. The romantic figure played by Meryl Streep was a woman of action. In fact, the writer was a great solitary who tried to work out every moral conflict at her desk, in tales, letters or learned analyses. In 1923-24, for example, she made her famous and tortured marriage to Bror Blixen...