Julie Romain (Maupassant)

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Julie Romain
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man met an elderly former actress who reminisced about her past loves and successes, and revealed her secret nightly ritual of watching her young servants reenact romantic scenes from her youth.

A man was walking along the Mediterranean coast, lost in his thoughts and enjoying the beautiful scenery. He came across a small group of villas, one of which caught his attention due to its charming appearance. He asked a nearby stone-breaker about the owner of the villa and was told it belonged to Julie Romain, a famous actress from the past who had been loved and adored by many.

Intrigued, the man decided to visit Julie and was welcomed by the old woman.
Julie Romain — elderly former actress; nostalgic, passionate, and longing for her past.
The Narrator — narrator; young man who is sympathetic and curious about the elderly actress.
They spent the day talking about her past successes, her love affairs with a poet and a musician, and her current life in the villa. Julie admitted that she still longed for the love and passion she had experienced in her youth.

My poor body is sixty-nine years old and my poor heart is twenty. … And that is why I live alone, with my flowers and my dreams.

The man was invited to stay for dinner, and afterwards, Julie showed him a secret she had been hesitant to reveal. In the moonlit orange grove behind the villa, the two young servants of the house, dressed in period costumes, reenacted a romantic scene from the past. The man was initially amused but soon realized that this spectacle was a way for Julie to relive her past and hold onto the memories of her youth.

As the man left the villa, he understood that the old woman would continue to cling to these memories, a testament to the power of love and the passage of time.