Grinning at the Devil
Seven Gothic Tales is an apt title. All tales must have a teller, and Dinesen’s seven separate tales – all long, some long enough to be novellas – have multiple storytellers. There are tales within tales within tales, each opening on to the next like a series of Russian dolls. The themes are Gothic: doomed love affairs; the inevitability of fate; super natural forces. There are gloomy monasteries, ghosts, violent murders and bizarre plot twists including a nun who transforms into a monkey.