“The beautiful dream of young love that ventures only on half-measures, that desires and dares not ask, promises and does not give.”

This surely is the perfect painterly story, homing in on gentle breezes, also softly focussing like a film of parasols and pastels, as a man visits by coincidental deliberation a woman; they once knew each other when they shared young love. And, as he already knew, she meanwhile had married a rich man to fulfil her dreams of sophisticated hedonism. As the visitor leaves, her smile fades when she realises her dreams of simple love remain unfulfilled. But that crude summary misses the story’s exquisite slow-motion subtleties that can only be experienced by reading it — so as to fulfil, at last, your dreams of unrequited literature.


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