Karen Blixen's works are explored in the light of a passionate insistence on living out a double nature of the divine and the demonic. The 'aristocratic' is examined as her depiction of a conduct of life that is faithful to destiny: the aristocratic viewpoint is in tune with eternity, and places no obstructive morality between self and life. Vitality has its source in direct access to the ocean of inexhaustible opportunities with which life presents us. The 'world' of Africa, for example, plays a key role as the consummate illustration of an aristocratic culture. The aesthetic guidelines for literary form (as well as art) as advocated by KB are discussed, and her view of art is similarly defined and explained as 'aristocratic'. Her private correspondence (including the recently published Karen Blixen in Denmark: Letters, 1931-62) is drawn upon to shed new light on her life and work.