A Sentimental Romance (Kuprin)

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A Sentimental Romance
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A terminally ill woman reminisces about her time at a sanatorium by the sea, where she formed a deep, platonic bond with a fellow patient, and finds solace in their shared memories.

A woman wrote a letter to her dear friend, reminiscing about the time they spent together at a sanatorium by the sea. She described the beauty of the place, with its apple trees in bloom and the calm blue sea. The woman recalled the deep conversations they had, discussing literature, philosophy, and life. She expressed her gratitude for the friendship and love they shared, which she believed was unique and special.

The Narrator — terminally ill woman; gentle, sensitive, and nostalgic; deeply attached to her friend.
The Friend — narrator's fellow patient at the sanatorium; intellectual, refined, and recovered from illness.

The woman revealed that she was now back at the sanatorium, but her health had deteriorated significantly. She knew that her time was limited, but she was not afraid of death, thanks to the wisdom her friend had shared with her. She longed to see her friend again, but knew that it was unlikely to happen.

Ah, that past! What a mysterious, untranslatable charm it retains over one’s soul!

In her letter, the woman also reflected on the nature of love and how her feelings for her friend were different from the conventional idea of romantic love. She compared their love to a delicate, fragile flower that had bloomed in an unlikely place. The woman expressed her hope that her friend would remember their time together fondly and find comfort in the knowledge that she had experienced a unique and beautiful love.

As the woman prepared to send her letter, she felt a sense of peace and gratitude for the love and friendship she had shared with her friend. She said her final goodbyes, knowing that her friend would receive the letter after she had passed away.